Where to Stream ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Movies

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is making its way through season 1 on Prime Video, and the Amazon prequel is reimmersing fans in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. That may leave them feeling nostalgic for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And newcomers may find themselves looking to watch Peter Jackson’s films for the first time. So, where exactly can fans stream The Lord of the Rings movies?

Where to stream ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies

Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood as Gandalf and Frodo Baggins in 'The Lord of the Rings' movies, which are available to stream if you know where to look. Gandalf is holding his pipe to his mouth, and Frodo is looking at him while holding the One Ring.
Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ | New Line/WireImage

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The Lord of the Rings movies came out during the early 2000s, but they’re now available to stream — assuming you know where to look.

With Prime Video serving as the exclusive streaming home of The Rings of Power, it’s probably no surprise that the rest of the franchise can be found on Amazon’s platform as well. As of this writing, all three Lord of the Rings movies are available to those who have a Prime subscription. The Hobbit trilogy is also streaming on Prime Video, so viewers can get the whole J.R.R. Tolkien experience there.

In addition to Prime Video, Peter Jackson’s trilogies are currently streaming on HBO Max. The platform offers both the original cuts and extended editions of The Lord of the Rings movies.

What order should viewers watch them in?

‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies in order

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For those coming to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies for the first time, knowing where to stream them may not be enough. They’ll also have to know what order to watch the films in. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Frodo Baggins’ (Elijah Wood) adventure in the original trilogy is told in a linear narrative, so watching the films in their release order is important. Here’s the correct viewing order to stream The Lord of the Rings:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Two Towers
  • The Return of the King

Those planning on adding The Hobbit trilogy to their watchlists have more options. Because the three-part Hobbit series serves as a prequel to Peter Jackson’s first trilogy, the films can be viewed before or after The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released nearly a decade after The Return of the King, so most fans came to this trilogy on the heels of the original. However, the story makes just as much sense if you start with The Hobbit movies, then move on to The Lord of the Rings.

Here’s what order to watch The Hobbit trilogy in:

  • An Unexpected Journey
  • The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Battle of the Five Armies

Of course, The Rings of Power takes place even earlier than The Hobbit — so, do viewers really need to stream The Lord of the Rings movies before diving in?

Should you watch the original trilogy before ‘The Rings of Power’?

With The Rings of Power stirring up so many conversations online, there will no doubt be an uptick in people discovering The Lord of the Rings for the first time. But do you actually need to watch Peter Jackson’s movies to understand what’s happening in the prequel?

The Rings of Power is set during the Second Age, which is thousands of years before Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) embarks on his journey to destroy the One Ring. With that in mind, viewers can technically dive into the series without much knowledge of the original trilogy. However, they’ll miss plenty of Lord of the Rings references and Easter Eggs.

So, while the movies may not be required viewing for The Rings of Power, they’ll certainly enhance the experience of watching it. And with such great attention to detail, that’s no small thing.

New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power arrive on Prime Video every Friday.

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