This article was originally published in 2013 to coincide with the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. A slightly updated version is printed below.
The Lord of the Rings movies—whose journeys come to a close this week with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies—tend to follow a few familiar beats: People are tempted by the ring, ominous statements are made about treacherous new junctures, and everyone (even the dwarves and elves) comes together in the end.
But mostly, there’s a lot of running—especially across mountain ridges, filmed in helicopter shots. If you need a recap of the series, look no further than our supercut of all the running in the first four films. It’s only a few minutes long, but rest assured that we have a special 43-minute extended edition locked away in our vaults.