Fantasy fans are scrambling for the two vastly different TV series - but which of them is coming out on top?
Both are based on popular fantasy novels. Both are prequel series. Both were released around the same time. And both have been critically acclaimed by reviewers. But which of them is winning in terms of viewership? 'The Rings of Power' and 'House of the Dragon' race to be crowned the ultimate fantasy winner is hotting up.
According to the latest viewership figures released from Nielsen in the US, 'The Lord of the Rings' prequel series came out on top during its opening week of August 29 to September 4, with 1.3 billion minutes viewed. By comparison, the 'Game of Thrones' prequel series came in at number five during the same time period with 781 million minutes.
So, it was a colossal start for Amazon Studios' bold new venture into the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. While critics are loving seeing warrior elf Galadriel and the hesitantly wanderlust Harfoots on screen, the series has been review bombed by superfans of Tolkien's original works. These superfans are claiming that Prime Video's reworking of the source material does the franchise a disservice (with a female lead and people of colour part of the cast).
Again comparing the two series, 'House of the Dragon' banked a monstrous 10 million views in the US and a further four million in the UK for the series premiere in August. It became both HBO's and Sky Atlantic's most-watched season premiere ever. The production based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels is vastly different to 'Rings'. Much more adult in tone, the series doesn't have the broader appeal that the Amazon production has. However, each new weekly episode of 'Dragon' is seeing an increase in views.
However, there are some caveats with these viewership figures - we might not ever fully see which series will come out on top. The viewing windows for both series don't match up fully, as they are released on different days of the week. Further, Prime Video is a fully streaming service while HBO shows can be streamed on HBO Max and via cable television on the HBO channel, so the metrics are that little bit more difficult to measure.
Either way, with both series earning themselves 84% ('ROP') and 86% ('HOTD') on Rotten Tomatoes, it's clear that both fantasy series are proving popular - and those viewing figures don't lie.
The final episode of season one of 'The Rings of Power' will be available on Prime Video on October 14; the final episode of 'House of the Dragon' hits Sky Atlantic and NOW on October 23.