Will The Rings of Power compete with House of the Dragon again?

Both House of the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have new seasons coming out this year. Are we in for a redux of 2021 when the two shows went head to head?
Morfydd Clark (Galadriel)
Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) /

If you're a fan of dragons, elves, and all things fantasy, then 2022 was a serendipitous year for you. That's the year that HBO and Amazon Prime Video aired the first season of huge new fantasy shows, both of which happened to be prequels to existing properties. On HBO we got the first season of House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel series; where Amazon debuted The Rings of Power, a Lord of the Rings prequel set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the story we know.

House of the Dragon premiered in late August while The Rings of Power dropped in early September, meaning that for most of their runs, these two big-name fantasy shows ran alongside each other. This was fun for fans, because we got to have endless debates about which show was better. Generally speaking people preferred House of the Dragon; it has an average IMDb score of 8.7 while The Rings of Power has an average of 7.3, with each show amassing hundreds of thousands of votes in total. That's my assessment too; I liked parts of The Rings of Power, but overall I thought that House of the Dragon was tighter and more compelling.

But the competition itself was fun, and now I'm wondering whether we could be in for a rematch. We now know that the second season of House of the Dragon will premiere sometimes this June; we think we've narrowed it down even further, and that new episodes will start dropping sometime between June 20 and June 30.

Meanwhile, the folks at Amazon have been teasing a 2024 release date for The Rings of Power season 2 as early as 2022, the same year the first season dropped. Filming on season 2 ended last year before the actors and writers went on strike, so we assume that Amazon has had most of the season in the can for a while. It's odd that we don't have an official release date yet. Might Amazon have been waiting to learn when House of the Dragon season 2 was coming out so it could make a strategic decision?

That seems possible, because I can't think of another good reason Amazon would have sat on the almost-finished season for this long. The next question is: what will that strategic decision be? Does Amazon want The Rings of Power to go up against House of the Dragon again, or would it be better to get some distance?

Personally, I think Amazon will choose to air The Rings of Power season 2 after the second season of House of the Dragon has ended. Not only does that jive with whispers we've heard about The Rings of Power returning in "late 2024," it makes sense for Amazon to avoid conflict given that, in the court of public opinion, The Rings of Power lost its first one-on-one match with House of the Dragon. However you feel about the shows, audiences generally favored the Game of Thrones prequel. I think Amazon fears a repeat drubbing and will steer clear of House of the Dragon this year.

And that's a bit of a shame, because having the two shows run alongside each other made for fun sport. If Amazon surprises us and announces that The Rings of Power is coming in, say, July, it could suggest that they think they have a hit on their hands, something that can go toe-to-toe with House of the Dragon and stand a chance of winning...but I doubt it.

Whatever happens, fantasy fans will eat well this year. Bring on the dragons and the elves and the rings and the backstabbing.

Next. Daemon Rhaenyra. Deleted lines from Daemon and Rhaenrya's almost-sex scene from House of the Dragon. dark

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