‘House of the Dragon’ (HOTD) is the most trending weekly series right now. The pilot episode that premiered on August 21 has broken the record of 10 million viewers, becoming the first episode with the most viewers in history on HBO. Set 200 years before the famous ‘Game of Thrones’, this time we will be invited to see the heyday of the Targaryen clan, where the main conflict is still the same, namely fighting for the Iron Throne.
Not alone in the fantasy weekly series scene currently on air, Prime Video also released ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ which is often compared to HOTD. Both are prequel stories, adaptations of popular fantasy novels, and have huge fandoms in the pop culture community thanks to the success of the original series/film. Despite some different story concepts and spectrum of fantasy worlds, many of us can’t help but compare the two fantasy series currently on air. So, why is ‘House of the Dragon’ more popular than ‘The Rings of Power’? Here’s the full explanation!
Table of Contents
- 1. ‘House of the Dragon’ Releases a Week Before ‘The Rings of Power’
- 2. ‘House of the Dragon’ Faithful to Source Material
- 3. ‘The Rings of Power’ Has Copyright Issues
- 4. ‘House of the Dragon’ Manages to Make Us Forget the Failure of ‘Game of Thrones’
- 5. ‘House of the Dragon’ World Building is More Focused with Clear Key Characters
1. ‘House of the Dragon’ Releases a Week Before ‘The Rings of Power’
Besides being an art medium, television series/streaming is entertainment with commercial value. The right promotion and release strategy also affects the success of a series. At this point, HBO won the start by releasing HOTD a week earlier than ‘The Rings of Power’. Whether intentional or not, this timeline is the ‘luck’ that made HOTD steal the major audience first. Meanwhile, ‘The Rings of Power’ was released on September 1 the following week.
HBO took a strong competitive step by releasing the pilot episode of HOTD on YouTube (in limited countries) on the same day as the Prime Video release of the series. It looks like HBO is serious about maintaining their record number of viewers in the first episode that broke 10 million.
2. ‘House of the Dragon’ Faithful to Source Material
One of the main points that fans recognize as HOTD’s strength is the fidelity of the script to the source material. George R.R. Martin as the author of the novel alone is involved in the executive producer ranks. ‘House of the Dragon’ is based on the novel ‘Fire & Blood’, where the Dance of the Dragons is the main event that is well-known among fans of the novel and the ‘Game of Thrones’ series. Although many viewers already know the ending of the Targaryen clan, ‘House of the Dragon’ has so far delivered new episodes that are enthralling to watch. It even entices new fans to join the fandom.
While ‘The Rings of Power’ has adapted the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation with new characters and some references to characters already well-known in the fandom so far. Production-wise, the series has the same detailed and evocative cinematography, music and universe as ‘HOTD’. But there were quite a few elements that didn’t live up to the expectations of loyal fans of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ (LOTR) trilogy. If loyal fans aren’t satisfied, who will promote the series to gain new viewers? For those of you who are not LOTR fans and want to watch a fantasy series with a quality production, maybe you can try watching this series without caring what the media says.
3. ‘The Rings of Power’ Has Copyright Issues
G.R.R. Martin’s support and involvement in the development of the HOTD series is one of the main ingredients for the quality of this novel adaptation series. Although many directors and scriptwriters were involved, G.R.R. Martin was present as a consultant whenever needed. He can even reject or give corrections to the HOTD script. Let’s hope ‘House of the Dragon’ is consistent in this regard, learning from the failure of ‘Game of Thrones’ where heading into the final seasons was not the main thought of the novel writers, but executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
‘The Rings of Power’, on the other hand, actually has limitations in developing its script. Amazon only has the power to adapt Tolkien’s fantasy universes of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’, but not ‘The Silmarillion’. Where the novel has the material needed to understand the universe of Middle-earth in the past. Tolkien’s own family never supported the adaptation project of this fantasy novel. Tolkien’s son Christopher didn’t even like the hugely successful LOTR trilogy.
4. ‘House of the Dragon’ Manages to Make Us Forget the Failure of ‘Game of Thrones’
Only through the pilot episode, HOTD has provided a better quality of script than the first episode of GOT in 2011. As if to make amends, HBO gave HOTD an extra budget and production process. Starting from the selection of actors such as Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Paddy Considine who are already quite famous in the mainstream entertainment scene. To the seriousness of writing episode-by-episode scripts that offer something to keep the audience hooked. Can’t wait for the next episode. Where we didn’t really get this sensation in the first season of GOT, the first episodes.
‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy may still be the best fantasy franchise so far. However, the follow-up (The Hobbit) left fans disappointed as it could not match the quality of the trilogy. The same thing is happening with ‘The Ring of Powers’. Unlike HOTD’s ‘penance’ agenda, ‘The Ring of Powers’ is a proving project that seems to want to give more from the Tolkien universe, but no one asked for it.
5. ‘House of the Dragon’ World Building is More Focused with Clear Key Characters
In the first episode alone, ‘House of the Dragon’ was able to provide a lot of important information that was summarized densely and clearly. In just over an hour, we immediately understand the background of the conflict, the main objective of the story, and the key characters in this league for the throne. Meanwhile, the following episodes become a medium for elaborating on the motivations and development of each character’s position. It goes hand in hand with a very smooth introduction of the supporting characters.
Compared to HOTD, ‘The Rings of Power’ was unable to provide a concise introduction to the universe and characters in its first two episodes. The universe is too vast, but it is not explored to the fullest and many details are left unexplained. New characters also keep popping up, so the audience still can’t decide which characters are strong and which are just supporters.
With the above points in mind, we can see why ‘House of the Dragon’ is a more popular series than ‘The Rings of Power’. Not only is it fortunate to have a firm timeline and promotional strategy, ‘House of the Dragon’ also shows the quality of the script and fantasy world building that is highly considered in its production stage. The popularity of HOTD can also be seen by the trending topics on social media every week. Until various memes that show the audience’s favor on this dragon clan series. What about you, did you watch ‘House of the Dragon’ or ‘The Rings of Power’? Or watch both?