House of the Dragon vs. Lord of the Rings

House of the Dragon vs. Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power—Who Do You Have?

There can only be one prestige fantasy TV show that dominates pop culture discourse.

In an ideal world, no one would have to choose between HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and Prime Video’s lavish Lord of the Rings prequel The Rings of Power. However, this is not a perfect world, and I am confident that only one of these series will dominate the virtual water cooler talk of mass audiences. But which one is it going to be?

On the one hand, there’s House of the Dragon, which has already received rave reviews and a sizable audience despite widespread dissatisfaction with Game of Thrones’ final season. On the other hand, there’s The Rings of Power, which is based on the Lord of the Rings novels, which have been beloved for nearly 70 years, as well as the three incredibly popular and Oscar-winning film adaptations from the ’00s. Because of the almost-criminally expensive budget, early reviews of the series make House of the Dragon visually look like garbage in comparison.

It appears to be a fairly even fight, but I’m going to place my gold pieces on House of the Dragon. Because it arrived on TV first, it has a genuine advantage because it has already dominated the conversation. It’s essentially already sitting on the throne, which puts Rings of Power on the offensive. I also believe Dragon has a better chance of capturing mass audiences because it is a mediaeval fantasy rather than a high fantasy—it will be easier for people who don’t typically enjoy fantasy entertainment to wrap their heads around the political and character drama of House of the Dragon rather than Elves and Dwarves and magic rings and dark gods and what I expect to be an incredibly sprawling epic. In all honesty, I believe that mass audiences will prefer the show in which people fuck.

But I could be mistaken! Please explain why I am in the comments! Or explain why I’m correct! Or tell me I’m incorrect in my reasoning but correct in my choice!

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