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House of the Dragon vs The Rings of Power: Which show has higher ratings?

The two iconic fantasy titles have gone head-to-head in the streaming wars, but which one has come out on top with audiences?

Which is best, House of the Dragon or The Rings of Power?

With so many streaming services to choose from, the battle for audience attention has never been greater. In the past few months Disney+ has released Star Wars: Andor and Netflix has dropped Season 4 of Stranger Things, but right now two iconic fantasy titles are battling it out for top spot.

In late August and early September, audiences were able to stream the first episodes of Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, and the next instalment from Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. It’s no surprise the two are being compared; they are both established fantasy franchises releasing at nearly the same time.

While any comparisons between the two are largely subjective, both shows have received well over 150,000 individual reviews on IMDb in the first weeks after release. In terms of audience’s ratings, House of the Dragon triumphed with an impressive 8.7/10, while The Rings of Power managed 6.9/10.

These figures are the result of IMDb’s weighted average system which is designed to detect instances of unusual voting activity to ensure the integrity of the rating. The 8.7/10 recorded by House of the Dragon puts it level with a number of iconic shows on IMDb’s Top 250 TV Shows, such as Mad Men, Stranger Things, House of Cards and Downton Abbey.

Critics were similarly full of praise for House of the Dragon with 85 percent of reviewers being broadly positive, according to aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. The same percentage of critics also enjoyed The Rings of Power but audiences were much less happy.

Which show received more streams in their run?

The opening episodes of House of the Dragon were released in late August, while the first two instalments of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power were available to stream on 1 September.

This also put the two titles in direct competition to be crowned the biggest streaming show, but there was a clear winner in Nielsen’s streaming rankings.

Figures from the week running 29 August to 4 September, The Rings of Power was the most widely-streamed show in the United States with a massive 1.3 billion minutes of viewership racked up in a single week. In comparison, House of the Dragon was the fifth most-streamed show over that time period, being watched for 781 million minutes in total. A good start for both.

The latest streaming ratings release shows that House of the Dragon has now surpassed it’s competitor. Data from 19 September to 25 September show House of the Dragon surpassing 1 billion minutes watched while The Rings of Power was only a smidge behind with 997 million views, the first time the former has amassed more than the latter. This image is from the week prior.

However these figures only tell part of the story. The Game of Thrones sequel is available to watch on HBO Max, but is also broadcast on regular TV, for a sizable audience who would not appear in Nielsen’s streaming rankings.

Though The Rings of Power may be ‘winning’ in minutes of streaming, it is also the most expensive TV show ever made. To be enough of a success it needs to justify this price tag. A quick glance look at the amount of social media buzz surrounding House of the Dragon and you may see a different picture. Indeed, The Rings of Power drives 30.6 times more social media engagement than usual, while House of the Dragon is 54 times the market average, putting it within the top 0.2 percent of engaging shows.


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