There's two fantasy titans in town, and they are squaring off. 'House of the Dragon' dropped its first episode on August 21, and Amazon's 'The Rings of Power' followed closely behind it with its first two episodes premiering on September 2. Now that both series are taking over the conversation, everyone is asking which is better.
Both Shows Have High Viewership
If you're going off of views, the contest may appear to be tied until you check the fine print. Amazon announced that the premiere of 'The Rings of Power' was their most successful at 25 million views, about five less than the premiere of 'House of the Dragon.' But 'The Rings of Power' premiered two episodes at once; 'House of Dragon' did not, and the Martin classic's second episode received an additional 20 million views, putting the count at 40 million compared to its competitor's 25. Both were the most successful for their networks, but the clear winner is obviously 'House of the Dragon.' The fact that Amazon made this claim about its viewership, which deceptively mirrors claims made by HBO, is a sign that they want people to believe 'The Rings of Power' is the next hit. The streaming market is in stiff competition nowadays. They're throwing their hat in the ring.
The Rings of Power Has a Review Problem; House of the Dragon Does Not
Amazon was forced to restrict reviews for 'The Rings of Power' after so-called fans bombed the show page. The reviews were mixed, and they are a hit among critics, but the public matters more, and they see things very differently. Rotten Tomatoes is the perfect example. Like 'House of the Dragon,' critics gave 'The Rings of Power' an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, but unlike 'House of the Dragon,' which received 85% from the fans, 'The Rings of Power' received a 39% audience score.
The Gripe Was About More Than Casting Choices
Many people have dismissed grievances about 'The Rings of Power' because of the controversy centered around the race of certain characters, but a quick survey of the show's reviews on Rotten Tomatoes proves that people were more concerned about the quality of the acting, the plot, and the general aesthetic. Frankly, it felt cheap, and that's saying something considering the fact that this is the most expensive series ever made.
House of the Dragon is Serving Us Epic Shocker Moments; The Rings of Power is Diluting an Epic
Many of us will remember where we were when we saw Princess Rhaenyra descend on Dragon Stone, a Westerosian hold known for melting when it was attacked during the early days of the Targaryen conquest. We were ready to stand up and cheer when we saw Daemon Targaryen emerge from the cave, pulling a severed torso along with him. There are no moments like this in 'The Rings of Power.' We get characters we barely remember from 20-year-old films, now played by actors that look like Barbie and Ken dolls. There are plot points we can barely follow and cheap graphics that do nothing to carry the story. The audience has spoken. Who cares what the critics say? 'House of the Dragon' wins this round hands down.