What George R.R. Martin Has to Say About Prime Video's Lord of the Rings Series

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is open to some healthy competition with Prime Video's Lord of the Rings series, which will air simultaneously with the GoT spin-off.

By Cydney Contreras May 23, 2022 4:21 PMTags
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George R.R. Martin hopes the Lord of the Rings series is good—but not better than House of the Dragon.

The Game of Thrones creator shared his honest thoughts on the two shows, which are set to air simultaneously this September, telling The Independent, "I know a lot of articles, the minute the dates were announced, it's: ‘Oh, the battle for fantasy supremacy. It's Rings of Power versus House of Dragon, who will win?' I don't know why they always have to do that."

Martin said he wants both shows to "succeed," but added, "I'm competitive enough. I hope we succeed more. If they win six Emmys, and I hope they do, I hope we win seven."

Game of Thrones, based on Martin's books, aired its final season on HBO in 2019 but will be revived via the prequel series House of the Dragon in August. The Lord of the Rings movies, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's books, last aired an installment in 2014.

All in all, Martin is just glad to see the fantasy genre getting its recognition, even if it means Game of Thrones has a new dragon to slay. As he said, "It's good for fantasy."

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On the other hand, it's hard to see how any show can compete with the Game of Thrones franchise, especially with so many spin-offs in the works at HBO. In addition to House of the Dragon, premiering Aug. 21, writers are working on the pilot episodes for The Sea Snakes and Ten Thousands Ships.

As for whether Martin will be watching Rings of Power, the answer is yes.

He told The Independent that he's interested to see what Prime Video does with its Lord of the Rings prequel series. "It's kind of a weird deal, as you know," he mused. "Amazon bought Tolkien, but they didn't actually get any of the books. They didn't get Lord of the Rings, they didn't get The Hobbit, they didn't even get The Silmarillion."

Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

Indeed, the Prime Video writers had their work cut out for them, with Martin pointing out that they're essentially "constructing" a new story based on J.R.R. Tolkien's appendices. He said, "It'll be interesting to see what they did."

Showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne previously shared that Rings of Power, premiering Sept. 2, will be a family-friendly series that delves deeper into the world created by Tolkien. "This is material that is sometimes scary—and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated—but it's also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic," McKay said. "It's about friendship and it's about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness."

Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

And, unlike Martin's shows, Rings of Power will not feature sex scenes or nudity. As McKay explained, they set out "to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12 and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it's a little too scary."

House of the Dragon premieres Aug. 21 on HBO. The Rings of Power debuts Sept. 2 on Prime Video.

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