A Viewing Order for
The Hobbit.

Film Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of JRR Tolkien and having just this afternoon completed watching the appendices on the extended version of The Hobbit's The Battle of the Five Armies have decided, mainly out of curiosity at the production schedule, to put all of the extra features in some kind of viewing order should anyone want to visit these extras in such a way as to experience the entire production process.

As with the original The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit was filmed all in one go, or at least one eighteen months principal photography and another three months of "pick-ups" which amounted to shooting a whole extra film's worth of footage as the project was extended from two to three films, much to the chagrin of the sorts of people who don't like very long films.  I very much enjoy very long films and could have done with each of these being at least another hour if not more.

The following will not be an accurate portrayal of the actual order the films were shot.  It's obvious from looking at the documentaries that some sequences were shooting simultaneously by different crews with actors shifting between.  In constructing the list, where possible, I've put documentaries with conflicting date labels in the release order of the films, which also means it won't seem too odd when they purposefully don't show footage for anything which hadn't been released at the time.

Even without revisiting the documentaries themselves, listing the dates together like this offers some idea of the production challenges of these films in terms of planning and knowing what footage for which film can be captured when and how much of the production occurred on the fly due to the limited pre-production time.  The appendices are pleasingly honest about how Peter Jackson was really against it after having taken the films over and was often very lost indeed.

To be thorough, we must begin with ...

The Films

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition)

The Commentaries

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition)

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Extended Edition)

Production Appendices

UJ1: Opening

DS1: Opening

FA1: Opening

UJ1: The Journey Back to Middle-Earth


UJ1: Riddles in the Dark: Gollum's Cave (March 2011)

UJ1: An Unexpected Party: Bag End (March-April 2011)

UJ1: Roast Mutton: Trollshaws Forest (April-May 2011)

UJ1: Bastion of the Greenwood: Rhosgobel (May 2011)

FA1: In The Dungeons of the Necromancer: Dol Guldur (May 2011)

UJ1: A Short Rest: Rivendell & London (May & July 2011)

DS1: Business of the State: The Master's Chambers (August 2011)

FA1: Fire and Water: Attack on Lake Town (August 2011 / April 2012)

DS1: Shelter on the Long Lake: Bard's House (September 2011)

DS1: The Woodland Realm (September 2011)

UJ1: Over Hill ...: The Misty Mountains (September-October 2011)

DS1: Flies and Spiders (September-October 2011)

UJ1: ... Under Hill: Goblin Town (October 2011)

UJ1: The Forest Ledge (October-November 2011)

UJ1: Return to Hobbiton (October-November 2011)

DS1: Queer Lodgings: Beorn's House (November 2011/March 2012)

UJ1: The Epic of Scene 88: Strath Taieri (November-December 2011)

FA1: Under the Shadow of the Mountain: Rock & Pillar Range (November 2011)

DS1: Down the Swift Dark Stream: The Forest River (December 2011)

FA1: In the Wake of the Dragon: Lake Pukaki (December 2011)


DS1: A Warm Welcome: Lake-town (February 2012)

DS1: On the Doorstep: The Lonely Mountain (February 2012)

DS1: Inside Information (March 2012)

UJ1: The Battle of Moria: Azanulbizar (April-May 2012)

DS1: Barrels Out of Bond: The Elven Sluice (May-June 2012)

FA1: The Gathering of the Clouds: Erebor (May-June 2012)

UJ1: Edge of the Wilderland: Pick-ups and the Carrock (July 2012)

FA1: Many Partings: End of Principal Photography (June-July 2012)

UJ1: Home is Behind, the World Ahead

DS1: ... Into The Fire


DS1: A Chance Meeting (May 2013)

FA1: The Clouds Burst: Dale (June 2013)

FA1: A Last Desperate Stand (June 2013)

DS1: Erebor Rekindled: The Dwarf-Forges (July 2013)

FA1: Out from the Gate: Erebor Pick-ups (July 2013)

FA1: The Last Stage (July 26th, 2013)

Pre and Post Production Appendices

UJ2: The Company of Thorin
UJ2: Mr. Baggins: The 14th Member
UJ2: Durin's Folk: Creating the Dwarves

DS2: Summoning Smaug: Last of the Fire-Drakes
DS2: The Last and First Dragon
DS2: Conversation with Smaug
DS2: Into the Dragon's Lair

FA2: Beneath The Thunder: Forging a Battle of Five Armies
FA2: A Master Plan, Long in the Making
FA2: On the Front Lines of a Virtual Battlefield
FA2: Turning the Tide

The Peoples and Denizens of Middle-earth

UJ2: The Stone Trolls
UJ2: Radagast the Brown
UJ2: Goblins
UJ2: Azog the Defiler

DS2: Beorn: The Shape-Shifter
DS2: The Spawn of Ungoliant
DS2: The Men of Lake-town

FA2: Tauriel: Daughter of the Forest
FA2: Thranduil: The King of Wood and Stone
FA2: Dain Ironfoot: Lord of the Iron Hills

FA2: Realms of the Third Age

UJ2: Hobbiton
UJ2: Rhosgobel
UJ2: Rivendell
UJ2: The Misty Mountains
UJ2: Goblin Town

DS2: Beorn's House
DS2: Mirkwood Forest
DS2: The Woodland Realm
DS2: Lake-town

FA2: Dale: City of Men
FA2: Dol Guldur: The Hill of Sorcery
FA2: Erebor: The Lonely Mountain


UJ2: The Songs of Middle Earth

DS2: The Music of The Hobbit
DS2: Overture: Music of the Wilderland
DS2: 1st Movement: The World of Men
DS2: 2nd Movement: The Halls of Erebor

Bonus Features

FA2: Butt-Numb-A-Thon 2011 Greeting (B)
FA2: "Rivers of Gold" Music Video (B)
FA2: The Real Adam Brown (B)

FA2: Andrew Lesnie Remembered


FA2: Farewell, Friends

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