Should You Watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy?

No Spoilers, Only Backstory!


Based on the original books written by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy is one of the most popular and successful movie series of all time. The original six-book series consisting of The Hobbit, LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring, LOTR: The Two Towers, LOTR: The Return of the King, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales. These six books would later be turned into two movie trilogies. The first started in the middle of the series with The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, and then the other one focused on the first book, The Hobbit which was also broken up into three movies. By having some back knowledge on The Hobbit, LOTR can be easier to understand as it is one of the densest and hard-to-follow series because of all the required backstory and odd names of the numerous characters.

In this universe, “Middle Earth’ is shared by men, hobbits, elves, dwarfs, and so many other creatures that inhabit. In the beginning, Sauron forged 20 rings in the fires of Mount Doom to delegate power: 7 were given to the Dwarves, 3 to the Elves, 9 to Men, and one ring that controlled all the other rings was forged for Sauron himself. This all-powerful ring created chaos and bred evil as Sauron used his power to engulf middle Earth. However, he was killed in battle by a man named Isildur. The all-powerful ring was now man’s. Isildur was persuaded to throw the ring back into the lava it was forged in, but the ring’s power was too strong as it drove him mad and paranoid, and he kept the ring for himself. Years later, the Ring was lost in a river and would not wash to shore for thousands of years until a hobbit named Smeagol found it. He was possessed by the ring and later turned into the creature known as Gollum. Here’s where the Hobbit comes into play. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, was on a quest when he came across the ring and Gollum. He would keep the ring for himself years after his quest until it would be passed down to his nephew, Frodo Baggins, the protagonist of The LOTR Series. 

While small and frail, Hobbits have some resistance to the power of the Ring which allows them to carry it for longer periods of time without becoming possessed by its power. As Bilbo was dying and the ring was starting to take him over, Gandalf the Grey, a famous wizard of middle earth and friend of Bilbo and Frodo forces Bilbo to give up his prized possession to his nephew. At this time, Sauron is making a triumphant return to Middle Earth and all he needs is his ring to spread his destruction. In the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, just like his uncle, begins his own quest with the help of Samwise his loyal hobbit friend, Merry and Pippin who are two other hobbits, Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn the ere of Isildur, Boromir ere of Denethor II, and Gandalf the most powerful wizard. This group of unlikely beings is tasked with helping escort Frodo into Mordor, where the second coming of Sauron lies, in order to throw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom to destroy Sauron for good and save Middle Earth. The Journey is dangerous throughout every step the Fellowship makes towards Mordor. 

What’s so intriguing about Lord of the Rings is how the smallest and least qualified creatures such as Hobbits are tasked with saving all of Middle Earth on the most dangerous journey. A fair warning, Frodo is somewhat of a wimp throughout the movies as he is always stumbling and getting into trouble, but he does have the most difficult task out of anyone in carrying the ring into the enemy’s army and destroying it. However, with the help of a FOIL character such as Samwise who sticks with Frodo throughout, they are able to survive. Frodo is a sneakier hobbit and strong when he needs to be. Samwise is a bigger hobbit in stature and stronger, as he uses his strength to get Frodo out of trouble and keep him on track with his journey. The dynamic bond strengthens between each character in the fellowship as time goes on and the journey gets even more dangerous. LOTR immerses the reader/viewer in a whole new world full of made-up languages, traditions, and the struggle for power and freedom. 

Each movie is at or over 3 hours long and the “extended”  versions are even 4 hours long. LOTR is a hefty series that is longer than most movies and series you have seen, but it is worth it. Sometimes it is hard to sit down and watch a 3-hour movie, but if you ever find yourself with an excessive amount of free time, give the series a try. To me, LOTR is one of the best book/movie series of all time and is up there with Harry Potter and Star Wars and is a must-see. It’s action-packed, has its romance stories intertwined, is the tale of an underdog story, and it shows the meaning of true friendship throughout. Both the Hobbit trilogy and the LOTR trilogy can both be found on HBO max and the extended versions too. Enjoy your watching, hopefully, I convinced you to give Lord of the Rings a try.