Dragon House Showrunners on Competing with LOTR: The Rings of Power

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“House of the Dragon” showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik discuss the competition with “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” for the number of viewers. Two fantasy franchises are currently preparing to release their highly anticipated prequels this summer, which will premiere in less than two weeks. Before “Game of Thrones” came to an ambiguous conclusion in 2019, HBO began developing “House of the Dragon,” in which “Thrones” graduates Kondal and Sapochnik will take the place of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as showrunners.

“Rings of Power” has been slowly evolving since 2017, when Amazon Studios acquired the television rights to “The Lord of the Rings” for $250 million and took on a whopping $1 billion commitment for five seasons of the show. This includes an estimated budget of $465 million for the first season alone, which is more than the combined cost of Peter Jackson’s entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Instead, the Amazon series will feature screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay as showrunners. Both the House of the Dragon and the Rings of Power will introduce a lot of new characters and tell about the events that shaped the future of their fantastic worlds, Westeros and Middle-Earth.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik from House of the Dragon talked about the constant comparisons with Rings of Power. The showrunners seem at ease with the potential competition, and Kondal hopes that both fantasy shows will be successful, since he himself is a big fan of Tolkien. The shoemaker echoed his feelings, saying, “The more, the better.” Read their full comments below:

Ryan Kondal: I hope that both series will work and find a huge fan base, and that the fan base intersects strongly. I think the more big, expensive – really expensive – fantasies that work on TV, the better for us fans, because they will do more of them. I desperately want the Rings of Power to work. I’m going to be there and watch it the first night it becomes available, I’m going to watch them all.

Miguel Sapochnik: “The Lord of the Rings” is an excellent intellectual property and excellent material. I have no idea what they did—I didn’t get past The Hobbit 1—but it’s fantastic. The more, the more fun, really.

Judging by the tone of their comments, the showrunners of the “House of the Dragon” do not seem to be at all worried about competing with the “Rings of Power” for viewers, as they should not be. In any case, the pressure seems to be more on “The Lord of the Rings,” which will make its first foray into television, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly intends to make the next “Game of Thrones” out of it. HBO has already set the gold standard for long fantasy adaptations, and Amazon has paid a huge price to get into the game.

In general, it seems that there is nothing but friendly rivalry between the two fantasy franchises. As Kondal notes, both objects have huge fan bases, and they have a lot in common. Ardent fantasy fans can only hope that Kondal’s wishes will come true and that both shows will find a huge audience this summer. The premiere of “House of the Dragon” will take place on August 21 and will be a continuation of the film “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power”, which will premiere shortly after, on September 2.

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