The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular franchises in the 21st century, being adapted into several different movies, video games, and even an Amazon Prime Video-exclusive series.
However, you might be wondering where to watch the trilogy (or even the newer Hobbit trilogy), perhaps as a first-timer or as part of a yearly tradition. Fear not, as we have all the answers for you in this handy guide on where to watch The Lord of the Rings movies anytime, anywhere.
First off, some quick answers on where and how to watch the legendary trilogy:
- The Lord of the Rings (the original trilogy as well as The Hobbit trilogy) can be viewed on HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video in both the US and Canada. It’s also available on Netflix for certain countries.
- If you live outside of the US or are traveling overseas, you can just use a VPN, pick the right server, and then stream the movies via these streaming services.
If you’re left wondering as to what a VPN is and how to use one to watch region-locked movies and series, read on.
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Which Streaming Platforms Currently Have The Lord of the Rings?
As a The Lord of the Rings fan (or a complete newbie), it can be difficult to keep track of all the different platforms on which these movies are available.
Here’s a handy list of the streaming services that you can watch The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit trilogy) on right now:
- Netflix (limited to specific countries)
- Amazon Prime Video (offers a free, 30-day trial)
- HBO Max (also offers your first month free)
If you have a Netflix subscription and are wondering which countries these movies (or any other movie) are available in, you can use UNOGS.com (the Unofficial Netflix Online Global Search) to check out which movies are streaming in which countries.
Currently, the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy is available on Netflix in Turkey and Italy, with Fellowship being also available in Switzerland. The Hobbit trilogy, on the other hand, is exclusively available on Netflix Turkey.
How Do I Watch The Lord of the Rings if I’m Outside the US?
If you live outside of the US or are traveling overseas and are suddenly struck with an itch to watch an epic trilogy about a rich, high-fantasy world with massive battles and likable (mostly—looking at you, Boromir) characters, you’ll need to use a VPN to bypass country restrictions.
How to Watch The Lord of the Rings Movies With a VPN
Without getting too technical, a VPN “tricks” websites and other online services into thinking that you’re located in another country.
For example, if you set your VPN server to be located in the UK, logging in to your Netflix account while using that VPN will grant you access to Netflix’s UK catalog.
VPNs are very handy for bypassing country restrictions, and if you’re looking to watch The Lord of the Rings via region-locked services such as HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video, VPNs will do the trick and provide you with unrestricted access to these streaming platforms.
Setting up a VPN is a pretty straightforward process. In this example, we’ll be using ExpressVPN, which is just one of many VPN options available.
First, go to expressvpn.com, and click on “Get ExpressVPN.”
Next, pick whichever plan best suits your needs, and download the app for your device. ExpressVPN supports a wide range of mobile and desktop operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, and even Linux and smart TVs!
Finally, pick one of ExpressVPN’s numerous VPN server locations, log in to your streaming service of choice, and you’re good to go! For most people, ExpressVPN’s US servers might be the best option, as they allow you to bypass regional restrictions and access both Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max without any issues. But, if you plan to watch The Lord of the Rings via Netflix, you’ll need to connect to their Turkey or Italy servers to access the trilogy (whichever is closer to you).
If you happen to run across any issues that prevent you from establishing a connection to your VPN, check out this handy guide on how to bypass VPN blocks.
The Best VPNs for Watching The Lord of The Rings Trilogy
If you’ve Googled “best VPN” and are somewhat overwhelmed by the plethora of the “best” VPN options, fret not: Here’s a handy list of some of the top VPN services (and their monthly prices) today:
All of these options will allow you to bypass regional restrictions and watch both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies without any issues (provided you’re already subscribed to the services that stream them).
For the more discerning individual, we reviewed the pros and cons of numerous services to help you find the best VPN for you.
If you want more information on the more technical details of VPNs (or are curious about how secure they are), here’s a quick article about what a VPN hides.
What is The Lord of The Rings All About?
For the curious newcomers and those who may have forgotten and need a quick refresher (the first movie in the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, came out in 2001, after all), The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is based on a series of fantasy novels of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien, first published in 1954–1955.
The story is set in Middle-earth, a fantasy world crafted by Tolkien where humans live alongside elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, talking trees called Ents, and creatures both friendly and nefarious, such as giant eagles and dragons.
The Lord of the Rings centers on Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, who inherits an incredibly powerful artifact (the One Ring) and sets out on an epic adventure with a colorful cast of characters (featuring the aforementioned humans, hobbits, an elf, a dwarf, and a wizard) to destroy the ring.
This adventure sets forth a series of events thousands of years in the making, involving ancient pacts, the rise and fall of great kingdoms, massive battles involving thousands of orcs, elves, and men, and one ring to rule them all.
Why is The Lord of the Rings so Popular?
The popularity of The Lord of the Rings is undeniable: Even today, memes, video games, and series are still being made, all set in Tolkien’s rich, expansive universe.
This popularity can be attributed to an innumerable variety of factors: Firstly, Tolkien’s story itself is so compellingly engaging, detailed, and chock-full of in-universe lore that there are decades—if not centuries more of content to make about The Lord of the Rings’ world. J.R.R. Tolkien literally invented entire languages for Middle-earth’s inhabitants. The man himself has even been quoted as saying, “I should have preferred to write in ‘Elvish’” in one of his letters.
Second, the movies directed by Peter Jackson are veritable masterpieces in filmmaking, earning numerous awards and raking in billions in revenue. Even those uninterested in Tolkien’s serious worldbuilding chops find themselves entranced when faced with the movies’ massive battle scenes, boasting thousands of CGI and practical effects, enormous CGI creatures, and an unforgettable soundtrack that swells up at just the right moments for that perfect, emotional high.
Will there be more The Lord of the Rings movies in the future?
Will there be more The Lord of the Rings movies in the future? Definitely.
The original The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a massive success, earning $2.991 billion against a $281 million budget. The Hobbit prequel trilogy (which came out more than a decade after The Fellowship of the Ring), while not as financially successful as the original trilogy, still earned $2.938 billion. Prior to these blockbusters, films set in Tolkien’s captivating universe have been released since 1967.
More importantly, these films helped pave the way for a new wave of fans who were eager to learn more about Middle-earth and its inhabitants, be it through books, games, or even more movies.
In 2022, more than two decades after Peter Jackson’s first film in the original trilogy, Amazon premiered the series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, receiving mostly favorable reviews from critics. With a second season slated for 2024, the influence wielded by the world and characters created by J.R.R. Tolkien all those years ago still holds strong.
The War of the Rohirrim, an anime film starring Bryan Cox as Helm Hammerhand, the king of Rohan, is also in the works, also due to release in 2024. Given this, it’s not a matter of if more movies will be made, but a matter of when they’ll be made.
Forth Eorlingas! Watch Lord of The Rings Easily
The Lord of the Rings is the gift that keeps on giving, and if you’re due for your yearly rewatch of Peter Jackson’s epic original trilogy or if you haven’t watched The Hobbit trilogy yet (or, if you’re from the future and are hoping to watch the latest movies set in Middle-earth), we hope that the tips listed above helped you make an informed decision on the best way to watch the best adaptations of Tolkien’s magnum opus.