Two beloved fantasy IPs, two massive budgets, and two back-to-back premiere dates: It’s a standoff between “House of the Dragon” and “The Rings of Power” this summer.
Long-awaited “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon” debuts on HBO August 21, and “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin couldn’t help but weigh in on the comparisons between “Dragon” and Prime Video’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Rings of Power,” which starts streaming September 2.
“I know a lot of articles, the minute the dates were announced, it’s: ‘Oh, the battle for fantasy supremacy. It’s ‘Rings of Power’ versus ‘House of Dragon,’ who will win?'” Martin said during the Santa Fe Literary Festival via Insider. “I don’t know why they always have to do that.”
Martin continued, “I hope both shows succeed. I’m competitive enough. I hope we succeed more. If they win six Emmys — and I hope they do — I hope we win seven. But nonetheless, it’s good for fantasy. I love fantasy. I love science fiction. I want more shows on television.”
“House of the Dragon” is set 200 years prior to the events of “Game of Thrones,” charting the civil war that occurred in the House of Targaryen involving Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) ancestors. Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, Paddy Considine, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans star in the show from showrunners Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik. Condal co-created and wrote the series, while Sapochnik directed all episodes. Season 2 is already greenlit.
Meanwhile, Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is set during the start of the Second Age and captures the forging of the titular rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay helm the series, which stars Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and newcomer Beau Cassidy in the ensemble cast.
“House of the Dragon” co-creator Martin noted that “The Rings of Power” isn’t based on author J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous stories from Middle Earth, with the series instead adapting appendices from Tolkien’s books.
“It’s kind of a weird deal, as you know. Amazon bought Tolkien, but they didn’t actually get any of the books,” Martin continued. “I don’t think they got ‘Farmer Giles of Ham’ or ‘Leaf by Niggle,’ but they got the appendices, I guess, and they’re constructing a Second Age story about that. There’s a lot of myth about that, so it’ll be interesting to see what they did.”