The Rings of Power Has Been Defeated By Another Blockbuster Series

The Rings of Power has been beaten in Nielsen ratings by House of the Dragon.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

While the Nielsen ratings for streaming have been dominated by Netflix shows, the two standouts are both high fantasy and are on an epic quest to get the most viewers. So far, The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power had been winning, but according to Deadline, the results for the week ending September 25 show that House of the Dragon has overcome it. The two fantasy shows are third and fourth in the overall ratings, with House of the Dragon now leading.

The Netflix true-crime biopic Dahmer is in the lead, shortly after it was announced that the Ryan Murphy series had attained the second-highest viewership of any English-language show on Netflix. Nielsen estimates that Dahmer has taken in 3.6 billion minutes of viewing time, followed by the Karate Kid spinoff, Cobra Kai. House of the Dragon has 1 billion minutes of viewing, and The Rings of Power has 977 million.

The Amazon Prime show is based on JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its appendices of backstory and tells the story of the forging of the Rings of Power that are tied to the One Ring. It follows a young Galadriel as she rises from a young warrior to the leader fans of the original trilogy are familiar with. The Rings of Power takes place two thousand years before the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring.

Tolkien wrote quite extensive histories of Middle Earth, detailing the histories of various lands within it, such as the doomed Numenor, the relatively peaceful lands of Eriador, and the conflicted realms of Gondor and Rohan. The events depicted in The Rings of Power take place over thousands of years in Tolkien’s writing but have been condensed for the show. They include familiar characters like Elrond and the evil Sauron, as well as new characters that were echoes of history in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

House of the Dragon, the HBO competitor to the Tolkien series, is also a prequel to the primary work it is connected to, Game of Thrones, based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin. It tells of the conflict between Daemon Targaryen and his niece Rhaenyra for the Iron Throne, a civil war known to fans as The Dance of the Dragons. It is based on the novel Fire & Blood.

It is perhaps ironic that these two series are competing with one another for ratings dominance against the onslaught from Netflix properties, since George RR Martin is famously a fan of JRR Tolkien, even adopting the “RR” middle initials. Both authors have become synonymous with fantasy epics and richly detailed worlds and now audiences are investing billions of minutes into exploring those worlds on their streaming services. While House of the Dragon edged into dominance by its sixth episode, The Rings of Power is holding its own in the Nielsen ratings.

Still, Dahmer is proving to be the one stream that rules them all.