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Where to watch The Lord of the Rings before the debut of The Rings of Power

You may have a long quest of your own to go through all three movies.

Published onAugust 27, 2022

Galadriel holds herself up on a knife - Amazon Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power Galadriel

Amazon Prime Video plans to drop the first two episodes of the eight-part series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power late at night on September 1. This series, based on the Middle Earth literary saga written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is set thousands of years before the events Tolkien wrote about in his novel The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings book trilogy. It is also reportedly the most expensive TV show ever produced, with a total budget of nearly $500 million for its first season. But you might be asking yourself where to watch the earlier Lord of the Rings films?

In case you have never read the books, or even if you are familiar with the Middle Earth setting, it might be a good time to catch up with the saga. Thankfully, the three Lord of the Rings live-action films, and the film trilogy that adapted The Hobbit, are both available to stream from not one but two streaming services as of this writing. Here’s a look at where you can catch up on the previous Middle Earth live-action films, and also when you can expect to watch the eight-episode series The Rings of Power.

Where to watch The Lord of the Rings

lord of the rings return of the king
Warner Bros

Director and co-writer Peter Jackson made a bold move to film all three Lord of the Rings movies at the same time. The result was an acclaimed trilogy of fantasy movies that also became huge box office hits, and defined the fantasy genre in both films and TV shows for years to come.

The quest by the hobbit Frodo Baggins and his allies to finally destroy The One Ring of Power can be watched from two different sources. One of them is Amazon Prime Video itself. You can check out The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King right now on the same service that has The Rings of Power show.

Prime video logo
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video offers access to thousands of movies and TV shows to stream. That includes great original shows and movies like The Boys and The Tomorrow War. You can also sign up for other premium services within Amazon Prime Video.

If you really want the full Peter Jackson trilogy, you should head to HBO Max. While it too has The Lord of the Rings trilogy to stream, it also has extended versions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King you can check out. At a combined length of over 12 hours, the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy will likely be longer than the first season of Amazon’s The Rings of Power.

Max, formerly HBO Max, is your home for HBO titles, Warner Bros-made movies and TV shows, the DC Comics superheroes, and more. It's also the home for new and original movies and shows available nowhere else.

Where to watch The Hobbit

The Hobbit
New Line Cinema

In addition to finding out where to watch The Lord Of The Rings, you might also want to check out Jackson’s other Middle Earth films. After The Lord of the Rings, Jackson went all in and also became the director and co-writer of another trilogy, this time based on Tolkien’s prequel novel The Hobbit, where Bilbo Baggins goes on his own adventure quest and recovers the lost One Ring of Power. As with Jackson’s earlier movies, you can watch this trilogy, at least for now, on Amazon Prime Video, with An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies.

Again, you can stream the same movies on HBO Max. However, in addition to An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies, you can also watch an extended version of The Desolation of Smaug on that service as well.

Where to watch The Rings of Power

Officially, The Rings of Power is a prequel to Tolkien’s novels, rather than Peter Jackson’s adaptations. However, based on the trailers that have been released for Amazon’s series, it’s easy to see the resemblance of this show to Jackson’s films, at least on a surface level.

In any case, the first two episodes of The Rings of Power will drop on Amazon Prime Video on September 2 in most markets and late on September 1 in the US and other markets. Here’s how it will all break down for those two episodes:

  • 6 PM PDT — Thursday, Sept. 1
  • 9 PM EDT — Thursday, Sept. 1
  • 10 PM Brazil — Thursday, Sept. 1
  • 2 AM UK — Friday, Sept. 2
  • 3 AM Central European Summer Time — Friday, Sept. 2
  • 5.30 AM India Standard Time — Friday, Sept. 2
  • 10 AM Japan Standard Time — Friday, Sept. 2
  • 11 AM Australia — Friday, Sept. 2
  • 1 PM New Zealand — Friday, Sept. 2

After that, the remaining six episodes of the first season will drop weekly. Here’s when they will go live each week.

  • 9 PM PDT — Thursdays
  • 12 AM EDT — Fridays
  • 1 AM Brazil — Fridays
  • 5 AM UK — Fridays
  • 6 AM CEST — Fridays
  • 9.30 AM IST — Fridays
  • 1 PM JST — Fridays
  • 2 PM AU — Fridays
  • 4 PM NZ — Fridays

If you really, really want to be among the cool kids, Amazon is releasing the first two episodes of The Rings of Power in a limited number of Cinemark theaters in the US and Canada on August 31, the day before they drop on Prime Video. You can head to the Cinemark website for more information and to see if you live near one of those theaters. You must be a member of the free Cinemark Movie Rewards members to attend. However, you might want to act quickly as most of the showings are already sold out.

That’s all the info we have on where to watch The Lord Of The Rings films ahead of The Rings of Power. Do you plan to binge-watch Jackson’s movies before going back to Middle Earth with the TV series?

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