GRRM's Unexpected Take on Rings of Power: What Does the Creator of Thrones Think?
Martin enjoys watching all fantasy series.
When The Rings of Power, Amazon's loose adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth stories, was released, the media immediately began comparing it to HBO's Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, released two weeks earlier, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood. Not that the simultaneous release of the two shows caused a clash of fandoms, but that's probably the kind of hype the entertainment industry outlets were trying to create.
The series share several similarities: both stories are set in fantasy worlds, both follow power struggles, and both are prequels. But the similarities end there. But does Martin himself see The Rings of Power as a competitor to his brainchild? The answer may be quite unexpected.
Martin Doesn't See the Two Shows as Rivals
The entire modern fantasy genre can essentially be traced back to Tolkien's books. The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion were real staples that influenced worldbuilding, storytelling, and plot tropes. The people who now work on books, movies, TV shows, video games, and other media in the genre grew up with the work of the English philologist and writer. So it's no surprise that both Martin and the team that worked on Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon were very enthusiastic about the Amazon series.
According to him, the rivalry 'mostly exists in the media.' He also referred to the opinion of showrunner Ryan Condal in his interview with The Wrap.
'I don't think that somebody watching Rings of Power means they're not watching House of the Dragon, I don't see it that way,' Condal told The Warp back in 2022. 'I see one feeds the other, and I think the more good quality genre entertainment on television, the more it's gonna draw in the general public who might not be so predisposed to watching this.'
He is an Avid Fan of the Fantasy Genre
Martin is incredibly pleased that fantasy is gaining momentum in modern television and attracting a growing audience. It's true that there weren't many quality fantasy stories before Game of Thrones, and adapting the works of the legendary Tolkien, known even to those not invested in the genre, is a positive trend for the industry.
He was happy to see two new series based on major IPs become big hits. Yes, folks, he's just like us, and instead of picking one thing, he'd rather enjoy all the fascinating stories at once.
'I am a fantasy fan, and I want more fantasy on television, and nothing would accomplish that more than a couple of big hits,' he said. He also praised other fantasy series that could have been considered competitors to GOT and HOTD, but instead the writer expressed a desire to see even more adaptations.
He went on to name a number of famous names in the world of fantasy literature whose books he would like to see adapted, including Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Abercrombie, Tad Williams, Patrick Rothfuss, Alan Garner, and Robin Hobb. But most of all, he is clamoring for an adaptation of Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber. Apparently, development should be well underway, and it will be released exclusively on Prime Video, where The Rings of Power is released.
As for the latter, as well as HOTD, we are still eagerly awaiting for the second seasons of both series, which are scheduled for release in 2024.