House of the Dragon: the showrunner talks about the rivalry with The Rings of Power

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Ryan Condal commented on the perceived rivalry between the two very popular fantasy shows.

It is certainly a golden age for fans of fantasy and television adaptations of colossal works, especially for George R.R. Martin and Tolkien with House of the Dragon, the HBO prequel series of Games of Thrones, and the Amazon Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, released at the same time. There are those who love one and those who love the other, and there are those who continue to see a rivalry between the two series. Yet, not everyone is like that, at least not the House of the Dragon showrunner.

Ryan Condal has denied any rivalry between his series and the Lord of the Rings series. Indeed, for Condal more successful fantasy series and better yet, “I'm a huge, dispassionate Tolkien fan,” he revealed in a recent interview for The Wrap. 

“I've read The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and The Hobbit many times growing up, I've seen Peter Jackson's movies many times in theaters. I love all those things, I love fantasy, and frankly, I want to live in a world where there is room for all these things [fantasy TV series] to exist if done well. I think the need for more science-fiction / fantasy [content] done well and expensive is what all of us nerds want. "


The House of the Dragon showrunner points out that fantasy is experiencing a moment of absolute popularity

Ryan Condal also expressed his opinion on the ratings of the series, pointing out that not necessarily high ratings for one series equate to low ratings for the other. “I don't think anyone watching The Rings of Power isn't watching House of the Dragon, I don't see it that way,” Condal said. "I see it more as [a situation where] one gives power to each other, and I think the more quality entertainment on television the more the general public will be attracted to it, especially those who aren't that predisposed to watch these things.".

Additionally, Condal also highlighted how times have changed since Game of Thrones' first season was initially released. The showrunner recalled how at first normal people were more reluctant to watch the show than nerds, thinking it was a silly series. Now, however, for Condal we are in a period in which fantasy has become more mainstream.

"People are more likely today, in 2022 than in 2011, to put the Targaryen crest on their car or to admit that they are watching the show," he said. “This has made fantasy popular and I think the more good, high-quality series, the more mainstream fantasy becomes. And that also leads to a larger audience, and that means more shows of this kind can be done, and done in an interesting way. Not just as mass entertainment, but with something interesting to say ”.

Observations that have also touched the more properly economic side in the realization of these series. Condal in fact underlined: "As we know, these shows are not cheap to make, and they are risky projects because you have to invest a lot of money in advance before you understand if it works or not", and then add concluding: "We want the studios to be open to risk, we don't want them to be risk averse, because that's where quality art comes from ”.

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