Comparing Harry Potter with The Lord of the Rings

Comparing Harry Potter with the Lord of the Rings Essay Sample

Every cinematic masterpiece should be unique in some way to attract viewers’ attention. However, it happens sometimes that popular movies that win the hearts of millions of people all over the world have some similarities. Take, for example, two most famous film series of the 2000s – Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Despite significant differences in the plot, setting, and characters, these films have many striking similarities that are easy to detect even for inexperienced viewers. In this essay, I intend to compare and contrast these two iconic films to understand how they relate to each other.

I would like to begin by describing the major differences in Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Events of the first movie are set in present-day Britain, while the latter takes place in a fantasy world of Middle-earth. Although both movies involve a lot of magical things, Harry Potter is closer to the reality because some events take place in London. These movies differ in their plots as well because the first focuses on the lives of students studying at the school of magic, whereas the second is about peaceful inhabitants of the Middle-earth who unite to fight the ancient enemy. Characters of the Columbus’ film are mainly children and their teachers, while the world created by Tolkien and reconstructed by Jackson includes elves, hobbits, dwarfs, people, orcs, and other creatures.

Furthermore, both movies differ in terms of the setting. In Harry Potter, most of the events occur at Hogwarts – the school of magic where the protagonists study (IMDb, 2014). In The Lord of the Rings, however, characters move from place to place to achieve their destination – the evil land of Mordor where they hope to destroy the ring that threatens their world. As a result, the plot of the latter movie looks more dynamic – characters cross valleys, woods, mountains, and rivers and meet different allies and enemies. In Harry Potter, the most important events occur directly at school and the neighboring places. Interestingly, this limitation does not make the movie less engaging because viewers get enchanted by the stunning locations and visuals that make Hogwarts look like the real place.

A closer look at both movies shows that they have many common details. To begin with, they are both fantasy stories. Their protagonists are both orphans living with their uncles. They both have wise old mentors, who possess powerful magic skills. Both Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings have evil antagonists – dark lords who have immense power and threaten to destroy the world. Interestingly, both evil lords need to regain possession of some small things, which are presented as secrets to their unlimited power and immortality. The main aim of the protagonists in both movies is to destroy these things (the ring and Horcruxes). Both face extreme suffering and pain to achieve their goals, and both succeed.

There are many less noticeable yet striking similarities between the movies. Thus, they feature dark forests where evil forces threaten to kill protagonists. Furthermore, both films have dark, hooded creatures who serve the evil lord and try to hinder protagonists’ plans. There are also huge spiders, devoted friends, important swords, looking glasses, ambiguous characters, just to name a few. However, despite some obvious similarities, both movies do not lose their charm and uniqueness. Possibly, these features were included as essential ingredients of a good fantasy movie, so there is nothing bad in the mentioned similarities. All in all, we do not stop loving these great movies and can hardly criticize them for resemblances.

More Compare and Contrast Essay Samples


Heyman, D. (Producer) & Columbus, C. (Director). (2001). Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. United Kingdom: Warner Bros. Pictures.

IMDb. (2014). Similarities between Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Retrieved from

Osborne, B. M., Walsh, F., Jackson, P., & Sanders, T. (Producers), & Jackson, P. (Director). (2001). The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand: New Line Cinema.

This sample of a compare and contrast essay shows how you can compare two literary works in an effective and structured manner, without excessive attention to detail, but at the same time with proper regard to the gist of their similarities and differences. If you have been assigned to such a task and are not sure how to complete it best, turn to our essay writing experts and they will handle the assignment without any hardship or trouble, quickly and with top quality.

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