Where To Rewatch The Lord Of The Rings Movies Before Rings Of Power Arrives On Prime Video

Get ready for more Lord of the Rings by catching up on your favorites.


With Amazon's Prime Video Lord of the Rings series Rings of Power coming to the streaming service on September 2, many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and the events on Middle Earth may be looking to jump back into the previous LOTR films in order to get pumped for the upcoming show. Obviously, watching the old LOTR movies won't really help with your enjoyment of Prime Video's new, very expensive show--it takes place a thousand years before Peter Jackson's movies. At the very least, though, it'll refamiliarize you with a number of the franchise's concepts.

Aside from the Jackson movies, there are also two animated films from the late '70s you'll probably want to check out as well. But where can you watch all these movies? There are so many streaming services at this point. Luckily, we have you covered for all your LOTR needs.

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Both the Lord of the Rings theatrical trilogy and extended trilogy are available on HBO Max. If you want to relive the theatrical experience, make sure you set aside nine hours and 18 minutes to watch Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King.

For the extended cuts, you'll need to set aside almost half a day. To get through them, it'll take 11 hours and 26 minutes. This doesn't include bathroom breaks or running to the kitchen to get food, which you'll definitely burn plenty more time doing.

The Hobbit trilogy

Much like the LOTR trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy of movies are also located on HBO Max. Only the theatrical versions of these movies exist on the streaming service, so you'll only have to invest a little less than eight hours to rewatch these.

If you want to sign up for HBO Max, it costs $10 a month (ad supported) or $15 a month (ad-free). There are also yearly billings for both of these tiers where you can save 16%. Check out HBO Max for more information.

The Hobbit trilogy extended editions

None of the extended editions of The Hobbit trilogy--An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, or The Battle of the Five Armies--are on any streaming services, so you'll have to buy them. Vudu, iTunes, and YouTube all have the films for sale, and typically, they have the cheapest prices. If you have a Movies Anywhere account, you can watch it there after purchasing as well. However, in order to get through the extended versions of these movies, you'll need to set aside almost nine hours.

The animated LOTR films

If you're a fan of Tolkien's work, you're probably very familiar with the animated movies of the late '70s and early '80s, two of which were produced by Rankin/Bass (Thundercats, Frosty the Snowman). The Hobbit came first in 1977, an animated musical produced for NBC. It's the story of Tolkien's The Hobbit, but told in 78 minutes. The follow up was 1980's The Return of the King, produced for ABC, and it was an adaptation of the book of the same name--skipping over the vast majority of what happened in the two books before it. There's also the animated movie The Lord of The Rings, which was released in theaters in 1978 and not produced by Rankin/Bass. The film covers most of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in a little over two hours.

These three animated films are the Spark Notes version of everything you see in Jackson's six movies in a lot less time. However, the films are not streaming anywhere with a subscription. We couldn't find The Return of the King on any service to buy or rent it--though you may be able to find it on YouTube. However, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were both available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Amazon, YouTube, and Vudu.

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The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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