Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is Amazon’s epic fantasy series based on novels by J. R. R. Tolkien. The series is Amazon’s attempt at an iconic fantasy series as other streaming services have produced their own such as Netflix’s The Witcher and HBO’s Game of Thrones. HBO is currently finding success with House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones. While The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon compete for viewership, an Amazon executive believes the two are different and that the studio never attempted to make something similar to Game of Thrones.
‘The Rings of Power’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ are both receiving excellent ratings
The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon were highly anticipated shows for fantasy fanatics. Some fans wanted to return to Middle Earth and Tolkien lore, some wanted to travel back to Westeros, and some were interested in both. A Nielsen streamings ranking report emerged for the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4, revealing that The Rings of Power was leading the pack with 1.3 billion minutes viewed.
House of the Dragon was in fifth place at 781 million minutes, and Game of Thrones came in third with 792 million minutes. However, there are several factors to consider, including that The Rings of Power debuted with two episodes while House of the Dragon only had one. While ratings might be in The Rings of Power’s favor, audiences appear to enjoy House of the Dragon more. The series has an 8.6/10 on IMDb, while The Rings of Power has a 6.9/10.
Amazon exec says ‘The Rings of Power’ is not ‘our ‘Game of Thrones’’
In an interview with Variety, the head of Amazon Studios says Jennifer Salke discussed The Rings of Power and the massive budget the studio invested into it. She says they knew the series would be competing with Game of Thrones, but they did not want to create a series similar to it. Mainly because they knew Tolkien fans would be upset if it featured too much violence or sex, which Game of Thrones has plenty of.
“We knew from the beginning that this was not our ‘Game of Thrones.’ In fact, the fans spoke up from the minute the deal was closed, saying, ‘Please don’t try to insert sex and a level of provocative violence,’ things that don’t feel true to the stories that Tolkien wanted to tell.”
She also explains how Amazon wanted to create a fantasy series that was much lighter and “hopeful.” The main goal was to create a series that was truthful to Tolkien’s vision and didn’t cater to what was prevalent in other fantasy shows.
The showrunners do not want to compete with ‘House of the Dragon’
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, The Rings of Power showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne addressed competing with House of the Dragon. The two had been working on the series for several years before HBO announced House of the Dragon would debut two weeks before their show. Despite the need for competition between fans of the two franchises, the showrunners did not make the show to directly compete with anything else.
“It dominates the narrative about how it’s received,” McKay shares. “But it was not at all part of the narrative in how our show was conceived. Hopefully, we’re competing against ourselves.”
The Rings of Power is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.