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Ten Reasons Why ‘Lord of the Rings’ is the Ultimate Movie Franchise

  1. The scenery is unreal. Filmed in New Zealand, the landscapes featured in this trilogy are visually stunning. Although sometimes I do wonder how the hobbits managed to trek through snowy mountaintops without wearing shoes. 
  2. There is a LOT of eye candy. While I am personally a diehard Legolas fan, Aragorn certainly has a rugged charm about him as well. And let us not forget the beauty of Arwen! 
  3. Sauron is one of the most terrifying fantasy villains. When I first watched the films many years ago, I did not quite understand Sauron — he lacked the detailed backstory and physical being of Voldemort, one of my other favorite villains at the time. However, what I have come to realize about Sauron is that he is horrifying because he is a villain so powerful that if he ever was reunited with the ring, Middle Earth would be his forever. Voldemort, on the other hand, was no evident match for Harry and his crew even when he had returned to life. 
  4. The battle scenes are epic. I get shivers every time I watch the Battle of Helm’s Deep in the second film — I am always utterly convinced that they will lose the battle, no matter how many times I have seen the movie. 
  5. Each of the different kingdoms are extremely different and interesting. We experience tranquil Rivendell, the lively Shire, the expansive plains of Rohan, the stark beauty of Gondor, and the dark evil of Mordor. 
  6. The characters are flawed. Although Frodo is painted as the hero of the film, his triumph certainly does not come easily to him. He is tricked by Gollum in the second film into following him into the massive spider’s lair and struggles continually with his attachment to the ring. 
  7. The films are long enough that they pay attention to detail. Whereas the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise often condensed a large novel into an hour and a half (Goblet of Fire, I’m looking at you), each of Tolkien’s novels receive three or more hours (if you are a fan of the extended versions, like me) to depict Frodo’s tale. The length of these films makes them the perfect plane watch if you are flying abroad post-pandemic this summer! 
  8. Gandalf shouting “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.” Need I say any more? 
  9. The ending is happy — but not too happy. While Aragorn (spoiler alert!) becomes King of Gondor and marries Arwen, Frodo’s ending is not as idyllic. Scarred by the trauma of his journey, Frodo decides to move to the Undying Lands with his Uncle Bilbo. Whether these lands are a metaphor for heaven or a true set of islands far away from Middle Earth, it is bittersweet to see our hero depart the Shire at the end of the films. 
  10. There’s a prequel, so your time in Middle Earth does not have to end! Tolkien’s prequel to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series, ‘The Hobbit,’ was recently adapted into a trilogy as well. Let your journey into Bilbo and Frodo’s world commence! 

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