Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi, 2017)

Two years have passed since the defeat of Ultron in the battle of Sokovia. Thor has been imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur. While in captivity, the demon reveals that Odin is no longer on Asgard and the realm will soon be destroyed following an event known as the Twilight of the Gods – Ragnarök. Just when Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame burning in Odin’s vault, Thor frees himself. He then battles Surtur’s forces and seizes the demon’s crown. Though he believes he prevented Ragnarök, the battle has only just begun.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dean DeBlois, 2019)

WARNING: The premise of this film contains unmarked spoilers for the series thus far.

One year has passed since the defeat of the avaricious warlord Drago Bludvist. Since that day, Hiccup, the new chieftain of Berk, has been leading his fellow riders on a campaign to rescue any remaining dragons captured by the trappers and bring them back to their village. In doing so, the island has become overpopulated with dragons. Remembering a story his father once told him, Hiccup wishes to find the Hidden World, which is said to be a dragon’s paradise. However, their exploits have caught the attention of an infamous dragon hunter known as Grimmel the Grisly.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois, 2014)

WARNING: The premise of this film contains unmarked spoilers for the series thus far.

Since the fall of the Red Death, the Vikings of Berk have made peace with the dragons forced to do its bidding, and they live together in harmony.  In just five years, the dragons have radically altered the culture of the village. Every Viking has now bonded with a dragon, and they even stage competitions to see who can capture more sheep. During one such competition, Hiccup, the son of the village chieftain Stoick the Vast, secretly leaves with his own dragon, Toothless, to explore uncharted lands.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)

WARNING: The premise of this film contains unmarked spoilers for the story thus far.

Two hobbits, Sméagol and Déagol, were fishing in a river when the latter discovered a mysterious ring in the water. Upon seeing it, Sméagol killed his friend for the ring and retreated into the Misty Mountains. Over time, the ring’s power twisted his body and mind until he became a creature named Gollum. It was, in reality, the One Ring, an artifact forged by Sauron the Dark Lord in the Second Age of Arda in his campaign for world conquest. Many centuries have passed since that day. Gollum, having discovered that a hobbit named Frodo Baggins now bears the ring, will stop at nothing to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, Saruman, Sauron’s second-in-command has fallen, betrayed by his own servant, Gríma. At Isengard, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and King Théoden reunite with Merry and Pippin. Gandalf retrieves Saruman’s palantír. Pippin looks into the stone as the wizard sleeps only to be telepathically assaulted by Sauron. Gandalf concludes that Sauron intends to attack Gondor in retaliation for his defeat at Helm’s Deep. Taking Pippin with him, Gandalf rides to Gondor’s capital city, Minas Tirith as his alliance prepares for one final battle against the forces of Mordor.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)

WARNING: The premise of this film contains unmarked spoilers for the story thus far.

Dire circumstances have torn the Fellowship of the Ring apart. Gandalf the Grey sacrificed himself to fend off the powerful Balrog, Boromir was mortality wounded in an Uruk-hai attack after attempting to take the One Ring in desperation, and Merry and Pippin have been taken captive. This has prompted Frodo and his friend Sam to journey alone to Mount Doom on their quest to destroy the One Ring, though they soon find that one of the ring’s previous owners is interested in reclaiming it. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, have happened upon the Rohirrim. Their leader, Éomer, has informed them that Saruman’s servant, Grima Wormtongue, has manipulated their king into turning a blind eye to the forces of Mordor running rampant throughout Rohan. As the One Ring draws closer to Mount Doom, the flames of war threaten to erupt in a mighty conflagration.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001)

This story takes place in a world called Middle-earth. The history of this world is divided into three ages. The second age was defined by a massive conflict that threatened to reduce the world to ashes. The lords of Elves, Dwarves, and Men were given Rings of Power. However, the Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring to rule them all in the fires of Mount Doom. His goal was nothing short of total world domination. An alliance of men and elves battled Sauron’s forces in the land of Mordor. In the ensuing fight, Prince Isildur of Gondor manages to sever Sauron’s hand and the ring with it, thereby causing the Dark Lord’s physical form to dissipate. With Sauron’s defeat, a new age is ushered in when Isildur, rather than destroying the One Ring, keeps it for himself. Tragically, the ring corrupts the prince, eventually leading to his downfall. The ring is lost shortly thereafter, and is found by a creature named Gollum 2,500 years later. He himself owns it for 500 years before it eventually falls under the possession of the most unlikely person imaginable: a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins.

Sixty years have passed since his grand adventure, and Bilbo is celebrating his 111th birthday in the Shire. He reunites with his old friend, the powerful wizard Gandalf the Grey. Unfortunately, the celebration is cut short when the One Ring begins to yearn for its original master. Realizing his age is starting to catch up with him, Bilbo entrusts the One Ring to his nephew, Frodo. From there, Frodo embarks on an adventure that will determine the fate of Middle-earth.

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