There & Back Again: Here’s How to Watch the Hobbit Movies in Order

“The Lord of the Rings” film franchise pulled a ‘Star Wars’ when it released “The Hobbit” trilogy. Whereas the “Star Wars” prequels were created by George Lucas after the original trilogy, author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote “The Hobbit” 17 years before he released “The Lord of The Rings.”

In terms of the films, director Peter Jackson and producer Fran Walsh originally expressed their interest in filming “The Hobbit “in 1995. Troubles with production rights, however, kept Jackson from adapting Tolkien’s first three books. Instead, he directed “The Lord of the Rings,” which was produced by New Line Cinema.

The move was in favor of Jackson and Walsh’s career since all three Lord of the Rings films were box-office hits. The final film in the trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” bagged 11 Academy Awards, which included Best Picture and Best Director for Jackson.

In September 2006, the new management of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer expressed their interest in partnering with Jackson and New Line Cinema to create “The Hobbit.” But it took six years of disputes, production troubles and lawsuits before everyone got their act together and released the first Hobbit film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

With all the trouble the LOTR franchise went to, it’s only natural for fans to worry if “The Hobbit” can surpass, if not match, the glory of the “Lord of the Rings.” Fans are still obsessed with watching the Lord of the Rings Movie in order; will The Hobbit do the same?

After the last Hobbit film, the entire trilogy made $2.91 billion on a $765 million budget. Despite being called an “artistic disappointment,” Bilbo Baggins and his friends were certified grand-slams on the domestic and worldwide stage.

Why “The Hobbit” Deserves Your Attention — Whether You Like It Or Not

It’s time to go on a journey that is less than five hours (hopefully). (Photo by the Prince Buffer)

Granted, not everyone’s a fan of spin-offs or unexpected film prequels. Plus, there’s the issue with how Jackson directed “The Hobbit” films. But in retrospect, the LOTR prequels can be amusing and entertaining.

So, if you’re a LOTR fan who is hesitant about watching “The Hobbit,” a Hobbit anti-fan reconsidering your film opinions or just not familiar with who Gandalf even is, here’s why you should watch and enjoy The Hobbit:

  1. It’s shorter than the original trilogy. The shortest film in the LOTR franchise is two hours, 58 minutes. “The Hobbit” is nine minutes shorter, which means nine minutes less of talking time.
  2. Less talk. The LOTR films are infamous for the long “talking” scenes. “The Hobbit” features half an hour of a “current” scene and the rest is a good mix of fighting, talking and scenery.
  3. It’s funnier than LOTR. Sure, “The Hobbit’s” comedy can be corny sometimes but its humor adds life to the scenes. Whether it’s the dwarves eating everything in Bilbo’s house or just Bilbo trying to save his life, the movie picks up because of the comedy.
  4. It has more action. As mentioned, “The Hobbit” has more talk and action mixed, but the latter steals the show. No one forgets Gandalf splitting the rock with his staff. NO ONE.
  5. You don’t have to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy to understand The Hobbit. Unlike other films, you don’t need the original trilogy to make sense of “The Hobbit” trilogy. Sure, many characters from the first trilogy appear in the spin-off but Bilbo reintroduces them so if you’re new to the universe, Bilbo will walk you through it.

How to Watch The Hobbit Movies in Order

It’s time to get into the hobby of watching The Hobbit movies in order. (Photo by Arts Technica)

You can watch “The Hobbit” movies by release date but if you want a better grasp of the LOTR universe or seek a better viewing experience, it’s best to watch “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” first before you marathon all of the Hobbit films.

“Didn’t you say we can do with this movie without the LOTR trilogy?” you might ask. You can but if you’re after a richer back story, the first 20 minutes of “The Fellowship of the Ring” can back you up since an older Bilbo Baggins is present at the beginning of the film. Once Bilbo’s scenes are up, you can move on to the following:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

A reluctant Bilbo Baggins finds himself on a journey to the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the terror that is dragon Smaug. After being approached by Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo joins the company of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield. Together, they journey into the Wild and fight off Orcs and Goblins living in treacherous lands.

While escaping the goblin tunnels, Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life: Gollum. Alone with Gollum in an underground lake, Bilbo builds his courage and discovers the existence of a “precious” ring. Here, Bilbo meets the one ring that rules them all.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

After making it out of the Misty Mountains alive, Thorin and the group are ushered by Gandalf the Grey to the home of Beorn, a skin-changer. They escape the pursuit of Azog and his Orc party, much to Azog’s dismay. That night, he is summoned by the Necromancer to visit Dol Guldur, where he will command his forces to war.

On the other hand, Beorn escorts Thorin and his group to the Mirkwood borders. There Gandalf finds the Black Speech imprinted on an old ruin. He warns the group to stay on their path while he investigates the Nazgul tombs. Along the way, the dwarves are captured by giant spiders. Bilbo saves the day with the magic ring he recently acquired. He eventually understands the dark influence of the ring.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After the Dragon leaves the Lonely Mountain, another threat comes to the Lake-town. Elves, dwarves, orcs and the people prepare for war. Meanwhile, Bilbo sees Thorin losing his sanity and tries to help. On the other hand, Gandalf escapes the Necromancer with some help.

The company of King Thorin and Bilbo are forced into war by the orcs of Moria and Gondabad led by Bolg, Azog and chief leader Sauron. The film wraps up with a battle between everyone on Middle Earth. How will it end?

The original LOTR films may have captured the hearts of the public, but “The Hobbit” trilogy is also worth the watch. There you go! Have fun watching “The Hobbit” with family and friends.


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