The non-war between HBOs House of the Dragon And The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power seemingly it just went to a whole new level of passive aggression.
Online ads posted today for Warner Bros. Discovery’s rebranded Max streaming service (formerly HBO Max), show a regal Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones on the iron throne and the motto: “The One to Watch When You Want to Rule Them All.”
Anyone who is somewhat familiar with it Lord of the Rings knows the expression “One Ring to Rule Them All.” An unscientific survey of genre fans found the ad immediately prompts an assumption of “ohh, shots fired.” But what’s cunning about the ad is that of course Daenerys really wanted to rule them all, so it also makes contextual sense and gives the company a plausible deniability, even if fantasy fans think Max is trolling their hole Thrones precursor House of the Dragon‘s head-to-head rival from last fall.
Amazon and Max both had no comment.
It is honestly also a way to like entertainment sites The Hollywood Reporter to embed their online ad into a story about their ad, even if they didn’t buy an ad, so they’re really playing a 3D chess…or accidentally stumbled into a viral ad, one of those.
Recently, Warner Bros. indicated that they were also developing their own software Under the spell of the Ring movies. The films will likely focus on JRR Tolkien’s Third Age (the period of Peter Jackson’s films) rather than Power rings‘s Second Age, but still represent the company entering a creative space currently occupied by Amazon (they are also minority stakeholders in Rings of power due to the complicated rights that come with all things Tolkien).
HBOs Dragon and Amazon’s Rings of power premiered within a few weeks of each season last fall and was the subject of much media debate over which ambitious fantasy prequel series was better and more popular. Both shows are filming season 2 in the UK and are expected to return in 2024, though it’s believed they won’t air again at the same time.