Bucket List

10 Lord of the rings things to do before you die: the ultimate LOTR bucket list

Lord of the Rings is one of the most beloved franchises of all time. Since 1954 Frodo’s story has been touching the lives of millions! The franchise really took off in 2001 when the first Peter Jackson film came out. However, there’s been dozens of adoptions over the years! This Lord of the Rings bucket list is a fun way to keep yourself participating in Middle Earth. Here are 10 amazing Lord of the Rings things to do before you die, featuring sights from both the original trilogy and the Hobbit.

10 Lord of the Rings Things to Do Before You Die

Have a Movie Marathon

The Lord of the Rings movies are already notoriously long, so how long would it take to watch the LOTR trilogy? 11 hours and 24 minutes if you include the intros and credits! If you add the Hobbit Trilogy to the mix then the total leaps up to 17 hours and 20 minutes if you watch the theatrical release.6 movies occupied 17.2 hours. The Extended DVD versions bring the marathon right up to 20 hours and 30 minutes. If you factor in time to eat, and go to the bathroom, you could just have a 24 hour Lord of the Rings bender.

The entire LOTDR marathon is actually longer than a Harry Potter marathon which 19 hours and 39 minutes! 

movie night

Read all the Books

It make sense that notoriously long movies came from long books. The Fellowship of the Ring is 479 pages, The Two Towers is 415 pages, and the Return of the King is 347. When adapting a movie to a film, there’s always going to be changes so reading the books is a great way to stay immersed in Middle Earth and discover the original tale. When you’re done with the trilogy, you should read the Hobbit and even some of J. R. R. Tolkien’s other books like The Silmarillion.

Although the Hobbit is only 304 pages, they still felt the need to drag it out for three movies.

three books

Learn Elvish

It turns out Elvish is a complete language! There’s two Elvish languages; Sindarin and Quenya. The vocabulary is a little limited, but it is possible to speak fluent Elf and converse with other Lord of the Rings fans. There’s a lot of Elvish tutorials on Youtube to choose from! Even if you don’t become fluent, it would still be cool to know a few Elvish pharases.

Apparently more people in the world speak Elvish than Irish which kind of makes me sad.

girl reading a book

Own the Ring

The whole point of the story may have been that the ring is evil and needs to be destroyed, but, it is the most iconic piece of LOTR merch. Lots of fans don a ring on a chain because it looks too much like a wedding ring to casually wear on your finger! This is also one of the few things on this Lord of the Rings bucket list you can do without needing to fly out to New Zealand!

While a recreation of the ring won’t turn you invisible, but that would be pretty cool, it’s a way to show your love for Middle Earth every day!

ring from lord of the rings

Go to Hobbiton

Who wouldn’t want to visit the Shire? The set from the original trilogy was taken down after filming, but since the Hobbit movie’s it’s been left up and Hobbiton became a tourist attraction.

If you find yourself in New Zealand then you absolutely have to stop by Bilbo’s house for Elevensies. While you’re there, you’ll get loads of these Lord of the Rings things to do before you die ticked off your LOTR bucket list.

the shire, hobbiton lord of the rings filming locations - lotr bucket list

See the Paths of the Dead in the White Mountains

The Paths of the Dead are seen in The Return of the King when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli seek out the Army of the Dead.

In real life, the Paths of the Dead are the Putangirua Pinnacles in New Zealand. You’re not gonna see ghosts and skulls, but reviews do say the deeper you go the creepier it feels!

paths of the dead

Go to Rivendale

When you’re done with the Shire you can see the Elvish Kingdom of Rivendale.

Rivendale was set in Kaitoke Regional Par in Wellington, New Zealand. You can even see the gate to Rivendale from The Fellowship of the Ring. Although the exact set for the Elf Kingdom isn’t still standing, the forest is just as magestic.


One Can Simply Walk to Mordor

You can prove Boromir wrong and actually walk to Mordor with this next item on the Lord of the Rings Bucket List.

Mordor was set in Tongariro National Park. The rocky barren park was the perfect place to film the scenes set in Mordor. While you might not find Sauron’s eye staring you down, you’ll definitely recognise the backdrop for the most chilling scenes in Return of the King.

mordor lotr filming location - lord of the rings things to do before you die

Go to Mount Doom

Mountdoom is set in the same park as Mordor was. Mount Doom is really Mouth Ngauruhoe. A lot of the scenes were CGI or filmed on the slopes rather than the actual peak of Mount Ngauruhoe. This is because the summit of the mountain is sacred to the Māori people. Some scenes were filmed on a different mountain; Mount Ruapehu, so technically there’s two Mount Dooms. of the region.

mount doom - lord of the rings filming location - lotr bucket list

Ride barrels from the Hobbit

Like it’s predecessor (even if it’s actually the prequel), The Hobbit was also filmed in New Zealand. One of the most iconic scenes from the trilogy was when Bilbo and the Dwarves escaped from Thranduil’s realm in The Desolation of Smaug.

The scene was filmed on the Pelorus River in Marlborough. Actually riding wine barrels down the river is not only frowned up, and probably actually illegal, but you can pay this filming location a visit. You’ll definitely recognise the spot where the party gets out of the river and discover that Kili is hurt.

the hobbit filming location - lord of the rings things to do before you die

Have you done any of these Lord of the Rings things to do before you die? Do you have anything LOTR related on your bucket list?

One thought on “10 Lord of the rings things to do before you die: the ultimate LOTR bucket list

  1. This is such a great list! I’ve done a LOTR extended edition marathon (without The Hobbit) before and read all of the books. But not had a chance to explore the filming sites in New Zealand, yet, but it’s definitely something I want to do. Pinning this for later.

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