The Rings of Power

In the marketing war, the ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel ‘House of the Dragon’ gets a key spot at Comic-Con. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ series, ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Star Trek,’ and more are all back on the street to fight for eyeballs.

Even though Comic-Con doesn’t really start until Thursday, the battle lines have already been drawn on the streets of San Diego and beyond with billboards, train wraps, and banners. This is the first time Comic-Con has been real and in person in three years.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is on Amazon Prime Video, and AMC is leaving. The Walking Dead, Marvel/upcoming Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Paramount+’s constantly growing Star Trek Universe are all well-positioned to get the attention of the more than 120,000 people who are expected to attend this year. Check out the best marketing and interactive efforts for SDCC 2022 in the gallery above.

But off the beaten path in the Gaslamp Quarter and elsewhere, HBO’s House of the Dragon is clearly the big winner for hearts and eyes. The prequel to Game of Thrones, which comes out on August 21, has replaced The Walking Dead on the hotel key cards that thousands of SDCC attendees will be carrying around all week.

The series created by George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal, and Miguel Sapochnik takes place 200 years before the coming winter of Game of Thrones. It will have its debut at a Hall H panel in the late morning of July 23. The House of the Dragon panel’s PR pitch is sure to get a lot of SDCC attendees excited, and it’s clear that the convention is being used as a springboard for a nearly nonstop campaign leading up to the highly anticipated premiere next month.

Still, in a Martin vs. Tolkien battle on the small screen, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay’s Rings of Power, which has a huge budget, will be right in front of everyone as they walk into the convention center. At each SDCC door and gate, banners for the fantasy TV show are wrapped around the security detectors in rows.

In fact, it looks like Prime Video has SDCC all figured out since the trains that bring people into and out of downtown San Diego are covered in their logos. In this way, the most similar thing is how Marvel’s new She-Hulk show with Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo starts on August 17 and is all over the official SDCC banners that line the streets leading to the Convention Center.

Large ads for the Emmy-nominated show Severance are plastered all over the front of the popular Hard Rock Hotel. This may be a sign of how fierce the streaming wars are. That is very different from Netflix’s presence at SDCC, which seems to be mostly limited to The Gray Man by the Russo Brothers. The action movie with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, a San Diego Comic-Con alum, is out in limited theatres now and will be available to stream on July 22.

There are also other spinoffs, like ABC’s The Rookie: Feds, which stars Niecy Nash and is filmed on the side of Petco Park, across the train tracks from the huge San Diego Convention Center. Also in the world of broadcast TV, NBC’s reboot of Quantum Leap with Raymond Lee has an interactive display in front of the Convention Center. This is part of a larger effort by NBCUniversal. The Comcast-owned network is bringing back the time-travel drama La Brea for a second season this fall. The show has put up a banner on the grass next to the Convention Center, which has always reminded us of a crashed spaceship.

Also, Fox Animation, which has always cast a big shadow over SDCC with its well-placed hotel wraps, is bringing ancient Greece to modern-day San Diego. Dan Harmon’s Krapopolis is moving into the Children’s Museum Park, right in front of the hotel next to the convention center. It is within javelin-throwing distance of the convention and has an interactive display for the cartoon show.

The schedule for film and TV panels at Comic-Con 2022 includes the MCU, “Black Adam,” “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “House of the Dragon,” and more.

So, whether you’re going to SDCC, are already there, or just want to see what’s going on from afar for the rest of the week, check out our gallery of marketing efforts up above. From Thursday to Sunday, July 21-24, 2022, Comic-Con will be going on, and the Deadline team will have a lot to say about it over the next few days.

Also, because the Covid pandemic isn’t over and is on the rise again in Southern California, everyone who goes to SDCC 2022 has to show proof that they were vaccinated or a recent test result that was negative. Also, “all attendee groups, including but not limited to exhibitors, guests, staff, press, professionals, volunteers, and cosplayers,” must wear masks while inside the convention center.