House of the Dragon vs Rings of Power


Staff Writer

The fantasy genre is in a golden age with franchise titans, “Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings” both currently streaming their respective prequel shows, “House of the Dragon” (HOTD) and “The Rings of Power” (ROP). Both shows debuted in the same week, with HBO releasing HOTD on August 21st and Amazon Prime’s ROP on September 1st. According to “”, the opening nights brought in 4.8 million HOTD and 1.8 million ROP viewers in the United States alone. These shows are not to be taken lightly, with their popularity and buzz on the internet only increasing.

HOTD is based on the book “Fire and Blood” by George R.R. Martin, and takes place over 150 years before “Game of Thrones”. It portrays a time before Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, where dragons rule the skies and House Targaryen is at its peak as the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms. The show’s focus is on House Targaryen and the turmoil it faces from other houses, and from within. We see the struggles of King Viserys as he attempts to hold the kingdoms together while he struggles to name a new heir to the Iron Throne. With no sons, the people enraged at the thought of his only daughter, Rhaenyra, as queen, and his rebellious brother, Daemon, who feels entitled to the throne, this show makes sure to keep viewers interested. HOTD does what its predecessor did best, with complex multi sided conflicts, political intrigue, and tense character interactions that keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats. 

Following HBO, Amazon Prime’s ROP is also a prequel to the widely beloved “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. It takes place in the second age of Middle Earth thousands of years before the main trilogy. This means no Frodo, Gollum, or Aragorn. We do see elves from the original story such as Elrond and Galadriel however, as they are immortal. We also get a slew of new characters such as the dwarf prince Durin, Nori the harfoot, and the elf soldier Arondir, all with their own story lines. Middle Earth is displayed as a very different world where magic is flourishing, the lands of Mordor are lush and unclaimed by darkness, and the island of Numinor still sits above the sea. Audiences are sure to gawk at the spectacle and visuals of this ambitious project.

“[The Rings of Power] looks amazing and has a much more immersive world, but that is all it has to offer. House of the Dragon has a better story and better characters, and it is way more engaging[…]” said senior Nathan Kennedy. 

This seems to be apparent to the rest of the audience as well, with HOTD having a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 85% compared to ROP’s 39%. Nonetheless, if you like either of these shows there is no need to worry as both have been greenlit for a season two.

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