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"The House of the Dragon" vs "The Rings of Power": Who Will Win the Streaming Battle?

The Two Most Anticipated Series of the Year are "The House of the Dragon" and "The Rings of Power". Faced with so much Medieval Fantasy Competition, we Analyze which of the Two Blockbusters is Leading the Streaming Battle..

Still from the series

Photos: YT-HBO Max, YT-Prime Video

LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

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The battle to lead streaming in 2022 has two protagonists: HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video. It is not for less, if we look closely, both platforms have a lot at stake with the most ambitious projects in their history. Both "The House of the Dragon" and "The Rings of Power" have been dominating the entertainment news in recent weeks, a development that will surely continue until the end of the year.

"The House of the Dragon": A prequel that is already history

The series "Game of Thrones" marked a before and after in the history of television. Its success was so tremendous that after its end, HBO decided to give the green light to a couple of spin-offs, one of those "The House of the Dragon". This prequel narrates part of the origins of the Targaryen House, about 200 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, and that will show the civil war that they started among themselves.

Political intrigues, dragons, and the fight to sit on the Iron Throne are all part of the plot to get fans hooked on medieval fantasy again. HBO's faith in this project is unshakeable and they know that the almost 200 million dollars of investment will be greatly rewarded. Between nostalgia and the phenomenon that "Game of Thrones" meant in today's popular culture, the winds are blowing very favorably in the Seven Kingdoms.

"The Rings of Power": The extension of Tolkien's universe

In a very similar case is "The Rings of Power", a prequel to the trilogy of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit". The detail of this series is that the producers did have to make an effort to create a story according to what many of us know, since the creator of this universe, JRR Tolkien, only left some notes without any specific story.

Close to 3,000 million dollars left the "Lord of the Rings" movies at the box office in the 2000s, a precedent that explains why Amazon Prime Video invested some 400 million dollars in this first season alone. The plot allows us to see various themes such as the forging of the rings of power, the rise of Sauron, or the last alliance between elves and men. The expanse of Middle-earth promises to grab the attention of streaming.

Also read: "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power": a Work that Lives Up to its Legacy

Which story will win the fantasy competition?

This is when the real debate begins about which story will win the streaming crown. At first, "The House of the Dragon" went ahead with its premiere on August 21, while "The Rings of Power" did the same on September 2 with a double episode. In that sense, Amazon Prime Video will try to satisfy fans first by playing with the calendar so that its series concludes first, and thus remains on everyone's lips. But can the HBO Max series finale overshadow that?

Of course, to know for sure, we will have to wait until mid-October, when both series end. However, the reception of the spectators during the premieres can also serve as a thermometer to measure part of the reach. On the one hand, as reported by HBO, the first episode of "The House of the Dragon" was seen by 10 million people in the United States alone. In fact, it became the best premiere in the company's history.

That boom did not stop there, since for the second chapter, the audience increased a considerable percentage. This translated into excellent news for HBO, which decided to approve the renewal of the series. To get another idea of this impact for the company, the premiere of "Game of Thrones" in 2011 only reached 4.2 million viewers, while the last season of "Euphoria" (its most successful show in early 2022) was viewed by 2.4 million people .

For its part, "The Rings of Power" achieved a milestone that seemed difficult to see. Amazon Prime Video decided to make public the statistics of the premiere of an original product for the first time in its history. The two episodes of the company's most ambitious and expensive project were seen by 25 million viewers globally, 12.5% of the platform's subscribers. Although Amazon has not given details of how it calculates those numbers, it is a figure that very few streaming productions reach.

But aside from all these statistics, another way to compare the path of both series is through specialized critics and the audience. According to data from the IMDB page, up to the date of this article, the four episodes of "The Rings of Power" have a score between 7.2 and 7.4, while the five of "The House of the Dragon" are between 8.2 and 9.2 . Likewise, Rotten Tomatoes rates both series with 85%, although the difference is made by the audience in favor of HBO Max (85%) over Prime Video (39%).

The temptation to compare them is inevitable, and we are not referring only to each other, but also to the original works that inspired them. In fact, at this point "The House of the Dragon" would be leading the way, because its plot, the expectations, and the connection of the fans with the characters are reminiscent of the first seasons of "Game of Thrones".

The opposite has happened with "The Rings of Power", which initially received negative reviews for the appearance of black elves. While it is true that such racial comments are based on a superficial analysis, the truth is that these details have turned away the most demanding fans of Tolkien's work a bit. However, opulence dominates this series that also seeks to immerse the viewer with the spectacular settings and locations of Middle-earth, which many of us know from previous productions.

In short, both "House of the Dragon" and "The Rings of Power" have a similarly large fan base, who love the fantasy genre and are the ones who make it possible for spin-offs to set a trend. So far, the dragons are the ones who lead the world of streaming and promise to continue flying high in the coming years. Only time will tell if in the end both productions more than met expectations.