Amazon’s next big series, based on the world of The Lord of the Rings and titled The Rings of Power, is one of the most anticipated series to launch in 2022. It has also been called the most expensive television series ever made. 

The Rings of Power will arrive on Amazon Prime Video on September 1 or 2, 2022 (depending on the time zone), with a first season of eight episodes in total. So, if you’ve never watched Lord of the Rings movies – or even if you’ve watched them a million times – there’s no better time to catch up.

It is worth noting that the Amazon series will not resume or retrace the paths of history already trodden in the two film trilogies so far. Instead, it will be based on some of the longer, deeper and more historical worlds that the two films have left out. Think that they are set thousands of years before The Hobbit, when evil re-emerges in Middle-earth.

The best viewing order for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

But the question remains: what is the best order to watch the two existing trilogies? There is no right way, of course, but there is a way that we think makes the most sense.

Depending on your patience and commitment, you may want to look for the extended editions. Each of the six films is available in a much longer version than the one released in theaters. All easily exceed 3 hours.

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

Most of the film may be set in the aftermath of the Hobbit trilogy, but The Fellowship of the Ring is a great introduction to Middle-earth, the Hobbits, the Elves, the Shire, and most importantly, the story of the One. Ring. Furthermore, some parts of his narrative are fundamental to understanding what happens in the Hobbit films. Firstly, because the Hobbit movies start with an old Bilbo writing his adventures to Frodo, and so an introduction to Frodo is important.

In this film, Frodo and his company: Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Merry (Meriadoc), Pippin (Peregrin) and Sam (Samwise) take possession of the ring and begin their journey to Mordor, where they aim to throw it into the fire of Mount Doom to destroy it. All while being chased and hunted by Sauron’s terrifying Nazgul and Saruman’s army of Orcs and Uruk-hai.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Then we return to The Hobbit, to complete the story of the ring. As mentioned, the story begins with Bilbo telling his adventures to Frodo. We are introduced to the moment when Bilbo is dragged on an adventure by the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves who seek to recover their lost city in the Lonely Mountain, full of treasures and currently the home of the dragon Smaug. In this film, Bilbo first comes into possession of the One Ring after a riddle game with the creature Gollum. What’s in his pockets?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Bilbo, the dwarves – led by Thorin – and Gandalf the Gray continue their quest to recover the city. They have cleared the Misty Mountains and must now face Mirkwood Forest, which is not without its dangers, and must do so without Gandalf. Once at the mountain, Bilbo – as a designated burglar – must find the Secret Door and steal the precious Arkenstone Stone, which the dwarves see as the key to their power and regaining control of the city.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Bilbo and his company are engaged in a war, the dragon has left the Lonely Mountain and the inhabitants of Lake-town are threatened. Orcs, dwarves, elves, men and even giant eagles are preparing for war, while Bilbo has to deal with a power-hungry Thorin. In this film, Gandalf is also saved by the Necromancer.

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

Completed The Hobbit, we return to the Lord of the Rings, with full awareness of what came before. The company split at the end of the Fellowship (the first movie), and so Frodo and Sam continue the mission of destroying the ring without the rest of the company. During this journey they first encounter Gollum (known in The Hobbit), while Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli set out in search of Merry and Pippin, captured by the orcs. They meet the inhabitants of Rohan, its besieged city and its exiled knights. We are introduced to the Ents – tree shepherds who take a long time to say something – and Faramir, brother of Boromir.

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

Sam and Frodo’s perilous journey is almost over prematurely thanks to a devious action from Gollum, but no matter what obstacles are in their way, they must carry the ring into the flames of Mount Doom. The rest of the company, joined by Rohan’s strength, is engaged in a war with the dark forces of Middle-earth to save Gondor, while its power-hungry ruler appears intent on destroying it from within.


Chronological order

Although some scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring take place in the years preceding the first Hobbit film, most of them are set in the following period. It is set in the aftermath of Bilbo’s 111th (or first) birthday. Similarly, while the Hobbit stories are later written by an older Bilbo, the story itself takes place when Bilbo is younger.

  • 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 of theatrical films (release date)

Of course, you can watch them in the order they were distributed. This way you will look at them in the order that anyone would have looked at them if he had gone to see them in their early evenings. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but if you do, you’ll end up seeing probably the weakest of the six films.

  • 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)

What about animated films?

There are two animated films that were produced long before the great Peter Jackson epics. The Hobbit (1977), The Lord of the Rings (1978) and The Return of the King (1980) were all based on Tolkien’s novels and are classic animated stories, but let’s just say they haven’t aged very well. Numerous short films have also been made and even some Lego short films in conjunction with the Lego console / PC games.

Where does Amazon’s TV series fit in the timeline?

The Lord of the Rings TV series takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events narrated in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. So don’t expect to see Frodo or Bilbo in this production. Here’s how Amazon Studios describes it:

“Beginning in a period of relative peace, the series follows a cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they face the much feared resurgence of evil in Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains to the majestic forests of the elven capital of Lindon. , to the breathtaking island kingdom of NĂºmenor, to the far ends of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out a legacy that will live on long after their disappearance. “

The first season has been in production since early 2020, but production was suspended shortly thereafter. It will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in September 2022 and a second season has already been ordered. In reality, the initial deal was for a five-season commitment, so we could see this series recurring for quite a few years.


What is the best streaming device for your TV? Our top recommendation is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Google Chromecast with Google TV, Roku Express 4K, Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick are also great.


The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit games

Of course, the Lord of the Rings isn’t limited to just theatrical releases. You will find many games for consoles and PCs, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • Lo Hobbit (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth (2004)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Third Era (2004)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Tactics (2005)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006)
  • The Lord of the Rings Online (2007)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (2009)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Search for Aragorn (2010)
  • The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011)
  • Lego The Lord of the Rings (2012)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
  • Lego The Hobbit (2014)
  • Middle-earth: The Shadow of War (2017)

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