The Correct Order for a First Time Viewing of The Lord Of The Rings
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The Correct Order for a First Time Viewing of The Lord Of The Rings

After reading Scott Hanselman's post about introducing your younglings to Star Wars, I was intrigued by the suggested 'Machete order' (courtey of Rod Hilton)

  • 4 - Star Wars: A New Hope
  • 5 - Empire Strikes Back
  • 2 - Attack of The Clones
  • 3 - Revenge of the Sith
  • 6 - Return of the Jedi

Which lead to deep conversations with myself about which order I should use when introducing my daughers to 'The Lord of the Rings'.

The three films can be arranged into 6 possible non-repeating combinations:

  • Fellowship, Towers, King
  • Fellowship, King, Towers
  • Towers, Fellowship, King
  • Towers, King, Fellowship
  • King, Fellowship, Towers
  • King, Towers, Fellowship

All of which have their own pluses and minuses, but none of which would qualify as a true 'machete' reordering.

I finally settled on the following order, which you'll agree is the best possible version of events:

  • 1. The Two Towers -- A good story always starts in the midst of the action, and leaps past the boring parts.
  • 2. The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey -- having established the story we now move learn the origin of the Ring and Gollum.
  • 3. How to Train your Dragon -- the loveable Toothless and Hiccup show us that not all dragons are nasty Smaugs.
  • 3a. Read all of the books -- that way you can complain bitterly about the missing 'Scourge of the Shire' segment during:
  • 4. Return of the King, Disc 2 -- 5 minutes of chucking a ring in a pit, a quick eagle ride, and two hours saying goodbye.
  • 5. Return of the King, Disc 1 -- Awesome battle scene. Best war ever.

I dub this the Chop-Suey Reordering, and in line with Oracle's copyright on the arrangement of the Java Api's, I claim ownership of this and all derivative reorderings of the LOTR franchise.





'me' on Tue, 08 May 2012 05:32:03 GMT, sez:

OMG, *don't* let them see the movies until after they've read the books. The movies are comparatively awful and will take the fun out of reading the books, while reading the books first will enable them to enjoy the story and get some enjoyment out of the movies because they now understand about all the stuff that was omitted for brevity.



'Sammy' on Tue, 08 May 2012 11:03:30 GMT, sez:

What is the best order for watching the Harry Potter films? I have heard 'backwards'... Can you confirm this?



'Stlan' on Tue, 08 May 2012 13:26:43 GMT, sez:

@Sammy.

True. Each movie must absolutely be seen backwards. That is from the end credits back to the beginning. The order however is meaningless. Random is good enough.



'http://' on Tue, 08 May 2012 19:55:48 GMT, sez:

It's actually "Scouring of the Shire", but other than that nitpick I find your post to be 100% cromulent. I would like to purchase a license to use the Chop-Suey Reordering in all subsequent LotR/Hobbit marathons.




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