The showrunner of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Patrick McKay talks about how his upcoming program and HBO’s Game of Thrones are similar and different. “The Rings of Power,” which is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s renowned books, is set in Middle-Second earth’s Age and tells the story of how evil arose during previously largely fortunate times. Fans of the Tolkien source material, especially those who enjoyed Peter Jackson’s famed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, are already eagerly anticipating the show, which also comes from showrunner J. D. Payne.
However, analogies between “The Rings of Power” and Game of Thrones were made before the release of the first trailer for the film. Game of Thrones, which debuted on HBO in 2011 and quickly rose to the top of the network’s ratings, is an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. With the impending premiere of the spinoff series, House of the Dragon, many fans are once again curious how Prime Video’s eagerly awaited The Lord of the Rings series will compare against HBO’s fantasy offerings. McKay has already stated that “The Rings of Power” will not contain the same graphic violence and sex as Game of Thrones.
According to THR, McKay addressed comparisons between “The Rings of Power” and Game of Thrones at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour. McKay says that while he comprehends the reasoning behind the analogies, he and co-showrunner Payne weren’t worried about it while filming. According to McKay, they consciously tried to “drown out” what was happening with other products functioning in comparable fantasy worlds since they were so intent on faithfully recreating Tolkien’s expansive fantasy universe. See McKay’s complete response below:
“We talked about this a lot. It comes up and we totally understand where the question comes from. We don’t think of the show in terms of what genre or other shows that might be out there. We think about [Tolkien], his life’s work was creating this world. This is Tolkien’s Middle Earth and regions beyond Middle Earth and we just wanted to be true to that and sort of drown out and forget about what might be happening in another realm someplace else…. Tolkien’s work is endlessly applicable across cultures and across times, and we feel really grateful to be able to bring it to life in our time.”
Many fans view “House of the Dragon” and Rings of Power as direct rivals because their debut dates are just a few weeks apart. McKay’s thoughts are in line with those of HBO Content Chief Casey Bloys, who earlier this year stated a desire to concentrate on his own work rather than worry about what other producers and networks were doing. While it’s understandable why the two series would be contrasted and even pitted against one another, it appears that key players in both “The Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon” are primarily focused on producing the finest version of their own particular shows.
Given the popularity of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there are obviously high expectations for “The Rings of Power.” It’s probably for the best that writers and execs on both sides are concentrating on their own series rather than wondering how their work will compare to others since the universe of Game of Thrones eventually differs greatly from the one in The Lord of the Rings. It’s obviously a terrific moment to be a lover of fantasy television, even though it’s unclear how “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon” will pan out.
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