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The Big List of Middle-earth Films and TV Shows

Written by on March 19, 2022

Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937, The Lord of the Rings in 1955, and the Rankin/Bass animated film of The Hobbit was released in 1977 and that was the year that kicked off the film interpretations of Tolkien’s works, which are still going strong today.  Everyone is (or should!) be familiar with Peter Jackson’s films from the early 2000s, and the nostalgic Rankin/Bass film, but many others have ventured into Middle-earth to add their own creativity and interpretations, and we hope many more continue to do so in the future be they serious commercial films, parodies, or fan films. Here is a list of all the films and tv shows (commercial and not), that take place in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Commercially licensed films:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022– ) – live action
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – live action
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) – live action
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – live action
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – live action
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – live action
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – live action
The Return of the King (1980 TV Movie) – animated
The Lord of the Rings (1978) – animated
The Hobbit (1977 TV Movie) – animated

Independent, fan made, foreign films, and some films currently in development:

Fog on the Barrow-Downs (2022) – live action (United Kingdom)
The Last Journey (2021) – live action short (Czech Republic)
J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion” ~~ Concept Film Redux (2017) – live action – YouTube
LolLOTR: the Silmarillion (2017) – tv mini series
The Lord of the Rings (2017) – live action short (Iran)
Le Hobbit: Le Retour du Roi du Cantal (2015) – live action (France)
The Hobbit: The Swedolation of Smaug (2014) – live action (Luxembourg)
Silmarillion: The Movie (2013) – live action fan-video trailer – Youtube
The Rise of the Nazgûl (2013) – live action – YouTube
The Road to the End (2012) – live action – YouTube
Wings Over Arda: The First Age (2011) – live action
The Hunt for Gollum (2009) – live action short (United Kingdom)
Born of Hope (2009) – live action (United Kingdom)
Halifirien (2009) – live action (Ireland)
Hobitit (1993) – live action (Finland)
(Khraniteli) The Fellowship of the Ring (1991) – live action (Russia)
The Hobbit (1991) – live action (Russia)
The Fabulous Journey of Mr. Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit (1985) – live action (Soviet Union)
Sagan om Ringen (1971) – live action short (Swedish)
The Hobbit (1966) – animated short – YouTube

There are of course many documentaries, radio dramas, stage productions, video games, and audio book versions of Tolkien’s characters, but that is a post for another day.  There is an interesting Wikipedia entry on some of the scripts that never made it to film (The Beatles as Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum!)…thankfully!  If you have a film of your own, know of any we’re missing, or where to watch some of the foreign or independent/fan-films, please drop links in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.


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