This cinematic trilogy based on the classic of the fantasy genre “The Lord of the Rings” was watched by the whole world, including citizens who never had time to read the original or could not overcome the frightening saga of more than a thousand pages. In what order should one watch these films if the title of each begins with two words: “The Lord of the Rings”? And how are the beginnings and endings of Peter Jackson’s films different from the source material?
How did the trilogy come about.
The British storyteller and scholar John Tolkien himself, as millions of fans of his talent know, divided his huge book into three parts for the convenience of a book publisher who did not want to print a giant “brick.” Because of the many competing translations, there is no canonical Russian title for each of the three books. The closest to the original titles are “The Fellowship of the Ring” (in other translations the first volume is called “The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Keepers”), “The Two Fortresses” (aka “Two Citadels” or “Two Fortresses”) and “The Return of the King” (in the Slavonicized version – “The Return of the Sovereign”).
How to watch “The Lord of the Rings” movies in chronological order
Director Peter Jackson, who has long wanted to adapt Tolkien’s saga, did not reinvent the wheel: he also divided the adaptation into three parts, calling them by the same names as in the original. So you have to watch the parts of the trilogy in the following order: first “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,” then “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” and, finally, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
- Lord of the Rings: Two Fortresses
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
How parts of the Lord of the Rings screenplay begin and end
Although Jackson has been criticized for changing the characters and other artistic liberties, the first film begins, like the first volume of the trilogy, with a brief introduction to Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle-earth, and the story of the funny and brave hobbit people and the hobbit Bilbo’s quest to foreign lands. This is followed by colorful scenes of the birthday of Bilbo, who has decided to leave his peaceful land, leaving the magic ring to his nephew and heir Frodo, and embark again on a long journey with his hobbit friends.
This film also ends in accordance with the canon with the death of the brave warrior Boromir and the parting of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo and his comrade Sam go secretly to the evil realm of Mordor to destroy the Ring created by the lord of darkness, their friends go to rescue Frodo’s young kin who have been kidnapped by evil orcs.
Accordingly, the second part begins with an exhausted Frodo and Sam wandering near the borders of Mordor, while their friends learn that the kidnapped hobbits are alive and out of danger. It ends in the middle of the second volume – the brave army of rohan riders take unequal battle with the forces of evil, and only an unexpected miraculous aid, which brings the powerful wizard Gandalf, turns the imminent defeat of the doomed heroes into victory.
The third part begins with Frodo and Sam meeting Gorloom, the former owner of the Ring, who promises to lead his friends to Mordor in the hope of stealing his treasure. It ends with the destruction of the Ring, the triumph of the forces of good, the honors bestowed upon the brave hobbit, and the departure of Frodo, Gandalf and the quite decrepit Bilbo to the wonderful land of the elves, inaccessible to mere mortals. The third volume of The Lord of the Rings ends the same way.
How the film and the book “The Lord of the Rings” differ
However, many Tolkien fans have criticized Jackson for omitting events essential to understanding the meaning of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ from the script, such as the inglorious death of Saruman, Gandalf’s former associate and warlock, who had turned to the side of evil. Some of the scenes Jackson and his team “cut” are included in the director’s version of the movie, available for viewing in Russian.
And yet, most of Jackson’s critics do not blame “The Lord of the Rings”, especially since the first part of the film is very close to the original, but to its prequel – the trilogy “The Hobbit”, which turned from a children’s tale with adventures into a hybrid of action, romantic drama with a missing in the original “Romeo and Juliet” and a comedy, where the role of comic characters are traveling with the young Bilbo dwarfs. At the same time, Jackson managed to stretch a small fairy tale story of about 300 pages into a large-scale canvas, the viewing of which lasts more than seven hours and can bore the most patient viewers. But this, as storytellers of different times like to say, is a completely different story that requires a separate narrative.