So a friend of mine asked me to watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which I haven't, so that we can then watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

So is it necessary to watch Hobbit one in order to enjoy, relate and understand Hobbit two?

  • 5
    I would recommend watching it before the second.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 21:33
  • @iandotkelly, I agree to you. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


My answer is a clear (and honestly pretty obvious) Yes, definitely! It is one continuous story (which would not have needed to be turned into three movies at all, but that is a different question) and The Desolation of Smaug is a direct continuation of An Unexpected Journey, relying on characters and events introduced in that (they were even filmed as a whole, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy).

That being said, of course nothing stops you from reading a summary of the first part before watching the second (or just the book, though they made quite some many additions to the book's story). But this is clearly not the way I would suggest to follow.

  • If you will watch the First one, then it will be lot more easire for you to understand the story of second one as well as the characters. So I also recommend you to watch the First one First then you can watch the second one. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 7:15
  • There is a lot of backstory in the first one that would vastly contribute to understanding the second one. I also am ambivalent about some of the ways they chopped/changed the book(s), but again, that's another rant.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 19:15
  • 1
    @JohnP Haha yeah, I wonder how many people will read The Hobbit and say "What the? Where's Sauron? Where are the orcs? Where's Legolas? Where's the hot elf lady falling in love with a dwarf?". But ok, that's really a different story. Once one accepts the fact that the book only provides a rough frame for the movies' events and that you're not watching The Hobbit but Lord of the Rings Episodes I - III, it's a very enjoyable movie. ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 22:36
  • I would separate the three terms "enjoy, Relate, and Understand". It is most definitely possible to Enjoy The Desolation of Smaug without seeing An Unexpected Journey. One might not be able to Understand it very well, however. As to being able to Relate...I'm not sure I understand how that would be different from Understand.
    – Bon Gart
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 3:47
  • @BonGart I would have seen those as part of a single question or didn't think that much about it at all, feeling that you need to understand it in order to enjoy it (well, of course you can always enjoy beautiful moving pictures, but without knowing what they mean that's really just half of the enjoyment). Feel free to add you views as another answer, though.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 11:03

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