The shocking move by the cable network sees their current most prized possession streaming for free on YouTube some two weeks after its premiere.
The pilot episode of Game of Thrones prequel series, House of The Dragon has been put up on YouTube just as Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power premieres its first two episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
House of The Dragon premiered on August 21 raking in just under 10 million viewers, numbers never recorded in HBO history for an original series. Just a few days after that, it was renewed for a second season and then its second episode also saw a 2% increase in viewership, all pointing towards a very successful start for the show. Barely two weeks after the premiere of the show though, in a surprising turn of events, the pilot episode was uploaded on HBO Max’s YouTube channel, available for free viewing in some select geographic locations. Seeing as this happened on the same day Amazon Prime Video’s Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power was always scheduled to premiere, one can’t help but wonder if this was just a happy coincidence or a thought-out chess move by the folks over at HBO.
Despite both fantasy shows sharing some similarity, they both clearly have different tones with HBO’s House of The Dragon being targeted towards a slightly older audience due to the violence and sex content and Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power being more family friendly so ideally both shows should be able to coexist. However, it’s almost impossible to rule out both shows being pitted against each other either in terms of quality or just for the sheer fun of it.
Lord of The Rings: Rings Of Power, also highly anticipated with a five-season commitment from Amazon worth over a billion dollars is nothing short of a worthy competitor to HBO’s House of The Dragon and despite the showrunners of the HBO prequel series dispelling the notion of rivalry between both shows, choosing to put up its pilot episode on YouTube for viewers to watch for free on the same day Rings of Power premieres seems to sends a completely different message.
Whether it was just a coincidence or the start of a TV series rivalry, we’d have to see what happens in the coming weeks to know for sure and if it does end up being a rivalry, it would be interesting to see which eventually comes out on top.