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Rings of Power beat House of Dragon for viewers, with one huge caveat

Rings of Power appears to have had a larger viewership than House of the Dragon, but it turns out the real stats are more complicated than that

Matt Smith in House of the Dragon

Now is a good time to be a fantasy fan. Whether it’s the fantasy series Rings of Power, Wheel of Time, the Netflix series The Witcher, or House of the Dragon, there’s pretty much something to suit your tastes. However, over the past few months the biggest battle for the fantasy series crown has been between Rings of Power and House of the Dragon.

The results of this battle will depend on who you speak to and how they want to measure success. Rings of Power has plenty of fans, but received a more muted critical reception. However, it also broke Amazon Prime’s viewership records upon its release. Meanwhile, House of the Dragon started off with much lower viewership numbers, but it also was greeted by near-unanimous critical acclaim.

So, it’s fair to say it’s complicated. But, when it comes purely to viewership figures, Rings of Power seems like it may have won. Reported by TheWrap, the Nielsen Streaming top 10 start shows that Rings of Power was watched for 1.1 billion minutes, while House of the Dragon falls just below with 1 billion.

However, Rings of Power fans shouldn’t be claiming the crown just yet because there is still one major caveat. First, the figures don’t account for viewers who watched House of the Dragon live. With these added on, it looks like House of the Dragon would likely be the winner. Then, there’s also the fact that Rings of the Power had a much larger potential audience, because Amazon Prime is a significantly larger streaming service than HBO Max.

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So, with all the viewers added up House of the Dragon will have won the viewership battle and the critical consensus battle, and it also drew in a larger proportion of its potential audience. Suddenly, Rings of Power claim to the throne looks shakier than the Lannister’s.

For more on Middle-earth, check out our guide to the Rings of Power characters Galadriel, Elrond, Sauron, and Celebrimbor. Or, take a look at our explainer for the new Lord of the Rings movie Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim, as well as its characters Helm Hammerhand, Freca, Wulf, Hera, and Eowyn.