Every fan of fantasy, at some point passes through the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Be it for the books, movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or for the influence that the gigantic work of the writer left. It all started in 1937, when he published The Hobbit, a fairy tale with elves, orcs, dragons and a little being, which gives the book its name.
Bilbo Baggins’ adventure conquered the world and it wasn’t long before Tolkien’s editor ordered a second book, with the demand that it had more hobbits. Little did he know that the writer was working on a work so gigantic that he would never be able to see its conclusion in life. In 1954, he delivered Lord of the Rings, a gigantic book, with appendices, maps, countless peoples, languages invented by Tolkien himself, describing an even bigger and more complex world than that work could actually present.
And for this reason, there were many attempts to adapt this colossal story to the cinema. The most successful of these began in 2001, when filmmaker Peter Jackson released The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It was the beginning of what many Tolkien fans believed was impossible. But in the end, the filmmaker ended up getting it right, presented us with one of the best trilogies in the history of cinema and later was invited to lead the adaptation of The Hobbit.
Below, we present a guide for new fans and for those who are interested in learning more about Middle Earth, but don’t know where to start, or what the correct sequence of works is. the trilogy Lord of the Rings, can be found on HBO Max. The Hobbit is only available for rental through Apple TV+.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The saga starts with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The film follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a hobbit who lives in the county and avoids getting into trouble at all costs. Everything changes when, suddenly, the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) appears at his house in the company of the dwarf Thorin (Richard Armitage) and his friends. Thus begins the journey that will lead to Bilbo the One Ring and place in the hands (or on the finger) of the little Hobbit, the future of all Middle-earth.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
After starting the journey to retrieve the dwarves’ gold, Thorin, Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins head towards the Lonely Mountain. That’s where the Stone of Arken is, which he needs to regain the respect of all the dwarves and finally be able to try to retake his kingdom. However, for this they will need to face Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), a terrible dragon that protects their treasure, of which the Stone of Arken is a part.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)
The trilogy ends with Smaug being driven from Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, and the dwarves retrieving his treasure. However, the news that there are riches beyond what anyone could imagine is spreading, and now the dwarves must keep elves, humans and orcs from entering the mountain. Meanwhile, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf team up to try to prevent the impending war.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Many years after Bilbo (Ian Holm) lived his adventure with Gandalf and the dwarves, he is back in the county, now living with his nephew, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Woods). During the celebration of his 111th he decides to leave the county, this time never to return, and leaves Frodo the One Ring. However, there are many evil forces behind this mighty gem, including Sauron, its creator, who needs the ring to return to his corporeal form and dominate Middle-earth. To avoid this, Frodo will enlist the help of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Boromir (Sean Bean), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and the hobbits Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippy (Billy Boyd) to take the One Ring to Mordor, the only place where it can be destroyed.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
With Merry and Pippin captured by the orcs, and Boromir slain in battle, after falling into temptation by the One Ring, the society separates. Frodo and Sam set out alone for Mordor, and on the way they meet Gollum (Andy Serkins), the former owner of the ring, who will do anything to get it back. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli decide to rescue the captured hobbits. Despite this, the fate of the Fellowship of the Ring is still far from completely gone.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The conclusion of the epic saga created by J.R.R. Tolkien shows the final resistance of the free peoples of Middle-earth, when Sauron sends his armies to the walls of Gondor. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli join the knights of Rohan to prevent the taking of the white city, while Frodo, Sam and Gollum try to sneak into Mordor to end the One Ring.