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How & Where to Watch Lord of the Rings Movies From Anywhere in 2023

Whether this is your first time watching or you’re a longtime fan, revisit Middle Earth with us as we show you how and where to watch Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies from anywhere.

Kit Copson
By Kit Copson (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2023-02-03T12:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska

In an age where streaming services and online buy and rental services are booming, you’d think finding any content you want to watch would be a piece of cake. Sometimes it is, but other times you’re thwarted by regional restrictions. Read on to find out how and where to watch Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies from anywhere.  

Key Takeaways: How to Watch Lord of the Rings

TheLord of the Rings trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson and distributed by New Line Cinema, has had a profound impact on both cinematic and popular culture. The series stars Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins. The star-studded cast also includes Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett and Viggo Mortensen, among many others. Dark Lord Sauron has been played by various actors, including Benedict Cumberbatch. 

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are available on a variety of streaming services worldwide, but not every platform has them and not every platform is available everywhere. To get around this, you can use a reputable VPN service like ExpressVPN. We’ll show you how that works further down.

  • Yes, the full trilogy is on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video U.S. and Canada.

  • No, the LOTR series is not on Netflix.

  • Yes it is, though it’s only available in the U.S. and Canada. You can access these libraries with a VPN if you’re outside the U.S. or Canada.

  • No, the LOTR movies are not on Disney Plus.

Where to Watch Lord of the Rings Online

There are three The Lord of the Rings movies — The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).

The three The Lord of the Rings movies are available to watch with a Prime subscription in the U.S. and Canada at no additional cost. If you’re outside the U.S. or Canada, you can connect to a U.S. or Canadian server on a VPN to access the U.S. or Canadian Amazon Prime Video library and stream the LOTR trilogy. Stay tuned to find out how to do that further down. 

Alternatively, you can watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy series with an HBO Max subscription. Unfortunately, HBO Max isn’t available in every country yet, but if you have an account, you can still access it from anywhere with a VPN while traveling. Meanwhile, here’s a roundup of everywhere The Lord of the Rings is available and the countries these platforms are available in.

StreamBuy or Rent
Amazon Prime Video (U.S.)Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video (Canada)Vudu (U.S.)
Amazon Prime Video (France)*iTunes
HBO Max (Various locations)Google Play
Now TV (U.K.)YouTube Movies & TV
BINGE (Australia)
Crave (Canada)
*You have to buy or rent The Fellowship of the Ring, but the other two movies are available with Prime

How to Watch The Hobbit Trilogy: Watch The Lord of the Rings Prequels

There are three movies in The Hobbit series — An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). These stories take place prior to the events of The Lord of the Rings. If you’re hoping to go the whole hog, here’s where you can watch the prequel trilogy:

StreamBuy or Rent
Amazon Prime Video (U.S.)Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video (France)Vudu (U.S.)
Amazon Prime Video (Canada)Google Play
HBO Max (various locations)YouTube Movies & TV
Crave (Canada)iTunes

Where Can I Watch The Lord of the Rings for Free?

There are a couple of ways you can watch The Lord of the Rings for free. One option is to sign up for a free trial with Amazon Prime Video and watch the movies on Amazon Prime Video U.S. or Canada (with a VPN free trial if you’re abroad).  

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free trial with Hulu if you’re in the U.S., then add on HBO Max. The Hulu with HBO Max package offers you a seven-day free trial. 

How to Watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy With a VPN

The below steps show you how to watch The Lord of the Rings on Amazon Prime Video U.S. from anywhere in the world. You can also use this method to access your HBO Max account and other streaming services and libraries. For this tutorial, we’ll be using ExpressVPN, our top recommendation for streaming. We’ll share more VPN options further down.

You’ll need an Amazon Prime Video account for these steps to work. 

  1. Get a VPN

    Go to a reputable VPN’s website and sign up for a plan. ExpressVPN’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, as do those of many other providers.

    get-expressvpn
  2. Download Your VPN

    Go to “download VPN” at the top of the page, choose the device you use, then click “download app.” Finally, click “download” on the next page. These steps may differ slightly depending on the VPN you choose.

    download expressvpn
  3. Connect to a US Server

    Open your VPN app and connect to a U.S. server.

    expressvpn app
  4. Go to Amazon Prime Video US

    Go to Amazon Prime Video’s U.S. page, sign in and search for The Lord of the Rings. Click “watch now” to start streaming.

    lotr stream

The 3 Best VPNs for Watching The Lord of the Rings

If you’re impressed by what a VPN can offer you in terms of security and streaming freedom, and are ready to explore your options, here are our top three recommendations.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn app us
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for streaming thanks to its great speeds, consistency and watertight security. 

Pros:

  • Unlocks streaming services
  •  Great speeds 
  • Very user-friendly 

Cons:

  • Expensive

It’s only fitting that we start with the service we consider the best of the best. ExpressVPN is our number one recommendation for streaming because it’s 100% secure, fast and consistent speed-wise, and makes it seem like geoblocks just don’t exist. It’s also really easy for beginners to use, so you won’t have to waste precious time finding your way around the apps.

In short, if you’re looking for a service that will get you into Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Netflix and many more streaming services with no hassle, you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN. No VPN is perfect, though — ExpressVPN doesn’t come cheap. It’s best to go with the yearly plan, as the monthly plan will cost you more in the long run.

Find out more in our full ExpressVPN review. You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. 

2. NordVPN

NordVPN app
Our daily speed tests have consistently proven NordVPN to be the fastest in the business.

Pros:

  • Excellent speeds 
  • Easy-to-use desktop app
  • Unlocks streaming apps 

Cons:

  • Awkward mobile app

NordVPN is the fastest VPN of all those we test on a daily basis. This is a major plus for streamers, as buffering and lag can put a real dampener on your experience. It’s also very consistent at getting around geoblocks on streaming services and makes it easy to change servers in a single click with its well-designed desktop interface.

There isn’t much separating NordVPN and ExpressVPN in terms of streaming performance. NordVPN misses out on the top spot by a hair in this case because its mobile app isn’t as easy to use as ExpressVPN’s. Other than that, you can expect a smooth streaming experience with this provider.

Find out more in our NordVPN review, and try NordVPN for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.  

3. Proton VPN

protonvpn desktop ui
Proton VPN offers a free plan with unlimited data, which allows you to stream as much as you’d like.

Pros:

  • Free plan with unlimited data
  • Easy to use 
  • Decent speeds 

Cons:

  • Only 3 free server countries

Consider giving Proton VPN a whirl if you’d like to pair an Amazon Prime Video free trial with a free VPN. Proton VPN’s free plan gives you access to servers in three countries — the U.S., Japan and the Netherlands. You have unlimited data on the free plan, making Proton VPN a good choice for streaming as often as you’d like on Amazon Prime Video U.S. 

Though Proton VPN can’t match the top two providers speed-wise, its performance in this area is still good enough for us to recommend it for streaming. On the downside, you may find only having free servers in three countries limiting. To get full access, you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan — and Proton VPN’s paid plans are a bit pricey. Check out our Proton VPN review for more.

Final Thoughts

Whether you plan to join Frodo and co. on their quest to destroy the One Ring, or Bilbo Baggins on his early escapades, we hope our guide has helped you find The Lord of the Rings movies you’re looking for. 

Now that you know how to watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, read our guides to learn how to watch Citizen Kane and how to watch The Dark Night movies.

Have you tried using a VPN to access Amazon Prime Video U.S., HBO Max or another streaming service from abroad? What was your experience like? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and thanks for stopping by.

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