When it comes down to it, Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power and House of the Dragon can't be compared.
As the Rings of Power creative team notes, besides being sweeping fantasy series, they don't share all that much in common. So why have the two shows been pit against each other? Well, Rings of Power executive producer Lindsay Weber suspects it's all about getting clicks.
"It's totally manufactured by the media for headlines," Weber said during a Rings of Power panel discussion Aug. 23, according to Variety. "I'm quite certain that the cast and crew doesn't feel any of it either. They know how hard it is to make these things."
Co-showrunner Patrick McKay added, "If you were an archaeologist and a gardener, it might look similar, but they couldn't possibly be more different."
As for showrunner J.D. Payne, he's more concerned about how the show will be received by fans. "The competition is the pressure we put on ourselves and a competition we have with ourselves to see what we can put out into the world," he explained. "Hopefully [our series] will bring people together as a sort of cultural conversation."
But while Rings of Power and House of the Dragon may be the subject of a lot of comparison, there's no bad blood between the shows. Payne added that he and the rest of the producers are cheering on the team behind the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragons' team, saying, "We wish them well."
All in all, Payne and McKay have crafted a story that vastly differs from that of the Game of Thrones prequel series. For starters, the Prime Video series aims to be family friendly and doesn't feature sex scenes.
McKay previously said it doesn't make sense for Rings of Power to explore such adult topics, because that's not what J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings books were about. "We talked about the tone in Tolkien's books," McKay told Vanity Fair in February. "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. It's about friendship and it's about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness."
However, McKay said Rings of Power does have some frightening scenes, adding younger viewers "might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it's a little too scary."
You've been warned!
The first two episodes of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power premiere Sept. 2 on Prime Video.