The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon in trailer battle

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Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
3 Min Read
The Rings of Power villain Sauron.
The Rings of Power villain Sauron. Credit: Amazon Prime Video

At this point, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power people must be asking the House of the Dragon folks, “Why are you so obsessed with me?”

The megalith fantasy series revealed the first trailer for its upcoming second season overnight, a tease of what’s to come in Middle-earth as the good guys try to stop the rise of the ultimate Big Bad, Sauron.

The very, very expensive show would’ve been hoping for some clear air to get fans excited but House of the Dragon was spoiling for a fight.

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Within two hours, the Game of Thrones spin-off dropped its first full trailer for its second season.

The fight for attention recalled both shows’ first season when two of the biggest fantasy franchises in the world decided it was a great idea to go near head-to-head on their latest efforts.

It was a peculiar decision because The Rings of Power had staked that first season premiere date, September 1, 2022, a year earlier, and then House of the Dragon followed suit by announcing it would have its coming out party on August 21, only 10 days earlier.

Both series overlapped each other for the majority of the season, forcing genre fans to commit to both shows and split their mania. Which high-concept, super obsessive and demanding show would they pledge their undivided loyalty to?

It was a risky move given their combined budgets were over a billion dollars. The Rings of Power was famously the most expensive TV series ever made with a production cost of $US456 million for its eight-episode first season while the rights to JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings appendices, from which the series was drawn from, cost Amazon Prime Video another $US250 million.

House of the Dragon was, comparatively, cheap. Not cheap, just cheaper, at $US150 million to $US200 million for its 10-episode season.

There had also been a side-pot bet going to all these shenanigans when another franchise heavyweight, Andor, arguably the best Star Wars TV show ever made, came out on September 21 and Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved The Sandman dropped on August 5.

It was a completely hectic time for genre fans who would have either been exploding with joy at having so many big-ticket, hugely anticipated shows rolled out within a month of each other, or they would’ve been utterly exhausted by the whole circus.

Happily, despite today’s trailer battle (on the main Prime Video YouTube channel, The Rings of Power has racked up 1.7 million views while House of the Dragon has clocked up 1.4 million on Max’s YouTube feed), the actual seasons of both shows will not overlap. A reprieve.

House of the Dragon season two will run from June 16 until August 4 on Binge before The Rings of Power starts its journey on August 29 and goes until October 3 on Prime. Great news if you’re fond of characters with a particular blonde look.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season two starts on August 29.
House of the Dragon season two starts on June 16. Credit: Amazon Prime Video
The Rings of Power moved its production from New Zealand to the UK for season two.
The Rings of Power moved its production from New Zealand to the UK for season two. Credit: Amazon Prime Video

The Rings of Power’s season two will follow Sauron after he was cast out by Galadriel, now reliant on his cunning to bend Middle-earth to his will. The uneasy peace between the land’s different tribes will fracture as the dark lord seeks to divide and conquer.

The show stars Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Markella Kavenagh, Nazanin Boniadi and Charlie Vickers.

House of the Dragon season two will continue the story of how House Targaryen comes to blow in a bruising civil war – and the trailer hints at the epic battle to come. The video also teases a visit to the Wall.

The series stars Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Eve Best and Sonoya Mizuno.

House of the Dragon teased a visit to the Wall.
House of the Dragon teased a visit to the Wall. Credit: Max

Another Game of Thrones spin-off, A Knight of the Seven Dragons, recently cast Vikings actor Peter Claffey as Ser Duncan the Tall for a story set 100 years before GoT and 100 years after HoTD.

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