The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the greatest cinematic feats of all time and easily one of my favorite franchises. I’ve watched The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers at the least a combined total of 200 times throughout my years growing up and even now, after nearly two decades since the first one came out in 2001, it’s still just as magical and epic as it has always been.
Peter Jackson really achieved what seemed impossible by creating these films and I can only commend him for the absolutely incredible job he did bringing this epic story once told by J.R.R Tolkien to life. The question is, in which fashion do I rank the films in this trilogy? Is the Oscar-winning The Return of the King the installment that excites me the most or is say, The Fellowship of the Ring, the movie that transports me to Middle-Earth and makes me so happy? That is what I’m excited to share with you in this post and I hope you enjoy. 🙂
3. The Return of the King
The final installment in the epic trilogy might’ve been the movie to garner an Oscar, and rightfully so, but it isn’t my favorite of the three films and this is why. While it is a perfectly told final chapter of the three-part epic it just doesn’t contain the heart that the first two did. There were some scenes that I didn’t like (in fact, I skip the entire Gollum part at the beginning because it’s so unnecessarily disturbing) and Aragorn, unfortunately, loses that uumph that made him such a great character in the previous two films.
I mean, Aragorn is awesome and then once he becomes king he just falls a little flat for me. I always pick on his King speech when he’s bolstering the courage of his meager army at the Black Gate because it’s not that great. And then don’t get me started on him singing near the end of the movie. Ahh!
But don’t get me wrong. This is still a ridiculously good movie. When Frodo leaves Middle-Earth to go to the Never-Dying Lands with Gandalf and the Elves I cry SO hard! It’s actually painful how much this scene gets to my emotions. In fact, I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It would’ve been very wrong indeed if not a single film in this trilogy got an Oscar and so I’m glad at least The Return of King got the coveted title of Best Picture.
2. The Two Towers
The Two Towers is perfect, perfect, and I did I say it was perfect? Films today are just…not made in the impeccable, thorough fashion that this trilogy was created. There is literally no flaw in this movie. The cinematography is beyond gorgeous and provides an honest depth to the story that makes you feel like you’re looking at a real world. The story itself is phenomenal, filled with twists and turns, heartbreaks and betrayals, humor and sorrow. The acting, oh my goodness, the acting reaches another level from the current actors of the first film and then the new actors come in and only add another fascinating layer to the movie. And as the movie progresses through it’s near three hour run the story only gets better and better until by the time the end comes you’re simply reeling by the epicness of it all.
The Battle of Helm’s Deep is still unparalleled in its cinematic achievement. Not only is it the perfect climax to the already stunning film but it’s so impeccably made from beginning to end. The Rohans had this great fortress that had never been overtaken but the sheer might of Saruman’s army was almost too great. But that’s why this film is so perfect. The heroes were on their last leg, it seemed that all hope was lost, and then Aragorn told King Theodin that they should valiantly to the death. Oh my goodness, I’m getting chills just thinking about that scene. When they’re out on the bridge fighting for their lives and Gandalf arrives I get goosebumps every time. It honestly never fails. I’ve seen a lot of climactic battles in my time but I think it’s going to be a very long while before the Battle of Helm’s Deep is dethroned.
All in all, this is a ridiculously well made movie literally from the first second to the last second and it’s undoubtedly one of the best sequels ever created.
1. The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship of the Rings was the first installment in the fantastic trilogy and it definitely delivered on all levels. This is my favorite installment in the trilogy simply because it’s, to me, the most magical. The sequences in the gorgeous Hobbiton at the beginning of the movie are just delightful to watch. The Nazgul play a fascinatingly horrifing part for the first section of the film. And as the characters are slowly weaved into the story the movie gets better and better.
The first half of the film is already super enjoyable but the second half (which starts after the Fellowship is created) is just spectacularly made. The Mines of Moria and the frightening demon within its vast cavernous halls is what fantasy is all about. The fact that they could bring it to life in such a fashion is just mind-blowing.
Another reason why this is my favorite installment in the franchise is because it’s the only movie that introduces a lot of loss and heartbreaking moments. First Gandalf falls in the Mines with the demon, supposedly dead, which is just in every sense of the word, devastating. This is, to me, one the best acted parts in the movie as we see every one just crumble in their own little way, except for Aragorn. At that moment he has to become king and lift every one up so they can continue their mission and not dwell too long on the passing of Gandalf the Grey. It’s also the best acted scene from Elijah Wood, in my opinion. His expression of pure sorrow and loss as he turns around to look at Aragorn is just 100% superb.
And then later on in the film, after that heartbreaking development, Merry and Pippin are taken captive by the Uruk-hai and Boromir is slain. The end of The Fellowship of the Ring isn’t a pretty picture. The Fellowship is split up, their have been fatal losses, two of the Hobbits were taken to their imminent doom, and it was just a somber reality for the heroes. But what makes it such a perfect ending is the fact that there’s still fight left in Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas and Sam and Frodo still have each other as they make their way to Mordor.
Every time I see the end of the movie when Frodo and Sam are making their way down the mountain with the backdrop of Mordor in the distance it gives me goosebumps over goosebumps.
My Conclusion of the Trilogy
All in all, these really are some of the best movies ever made just as The Lord of the Rings was one of the greatest stories ever told. There’s all the right amounts of action, suspense, humor, sorrow, love, heroism, etc. within this trilogy and each installment truly feels like its own chapter. The Fellowship of the Ring truly feels like the beginning, The Two Towers resembles that of a middle chapter, and The Return of the King is undoubtedly the finale to the trilogy.
These films are 10 out of 10 stars and 100 out of 100 hands down. There’s never been a trilogy as perfectly crafted as this one and I’m glad that I’ve been alive to witness them.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.