In many cases the order in which you watch a movie trilogy doesn’t really matter. Usually the characters are the same, the movies have similar pretext, but they each have their own totally separate plot lines. So why is The Lord of the Rings different and why is the order in which you watch it so important?
Lord of the Rings is very different from other trilogies. Rather than being separate movies, in a way LOTR is one long movie split up into three different movies. The Two Towers starts off directly where The Fellowship of the Ring leaves off. In order for you to comprehend what’s going on in Two Towers, you absolutely had to watch the first movie.
This is part of what makes LOTR such a great trilogy. Instead of cramming a movie into a 2 hour segment, it evolves and grows over almost 12 hours of watch time. You have an advanced story line as well as character traits. It’s very hard to fit a good movie into just two hours without cutting corners.
Why is it different than other trilogies?
Lord of the Rings is based on three novels. Many trilogies aren’t tied to a book and are original ideas. Thus, they are made with movie fans in mind. Lord of the Rings was not intended to be watched as a movie so its plot doesn’t fit perfectly with cinema viewing.
For instance, The Matrix was originally meant to be a movie. Each movie in that series can be watched out of order, it’s not too important. If you jump in at the second movie in the series, they re-explain the plot line for those who missed the first one. They also reiterate what the characters personalities are like.
What happens if I already watched it out of order?
Well, you should start over and watch it correctly. You missed a lot of explanations if you did not watch the first one. The first movie explains the power of the ring and why it must be destroyed in the first place. It also introduces all the characters in full.