Within a couple of weeks of each other this summer, HBO and Amazon Prime released two highly anticipated fantasy TV shows: “House of the Dragon” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” respectively. Aside from being based on books (at least somewhat in the case of “The Rings of Power”), the shows are both prequels to exorbitantly popular media, “The Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones”.

We wanted to know which show earned more PR buzz in the days leading up to its premiere—in other words, what’s more powerful: rings or dragons? We turned to media monitoring for the answer. First, a quick breakdown of the shows:


House of the Dragon (HBO)

The Rings of Power (Prime)

Premiere date

August 21, 2022 September 2, 2022

Rotten Tomatoes
Audience score*

85% 39%

IMDb score*

8.9/10 6.8/10

*As of September 6, 2022

To determine which show was most “powerful” we conducted an Agility Monitoring search of coverage that included the show’s name and the streaming service (ex. “The Rings of Power” AND (Amazon OR Prime OR “Amazon Prime”)) across the month leading up to and including the air date plus the following day. For example, “House of the Dragon” released August 21 and so coverage analyzed was from July 21 to August 22. Online news, blogs, print, and press releases were included in the monitoring results.

Here’s what we found:

Top regions by coverage were the same for both TV shows.

The audience scores and coverage numbers seem to agree—dragons are more powerful. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that the month of coverage analyzed for “The Rings of Power” did not include San Diego Comic-Con, which can be a huge opportunity for media attention.

The San Diego Comic-Con Effect

San Diego Comic-Con is a highly anticipated event, and not just by those who are able to attend. It is often when big announcements about upcoming entertainment projects are made, new trailers are released, and premiere dates are revealed. Thus, it’s a gold mine of information for media and fans.

As you can see from this graph, neither show was earning much volume by mention in the first half of July, except for two pre-Comic-Con spikes in coverage for “The Rings of Power”:

  • July 5: New teaser trailer released
  • July 13: New full-length trailer released

On July 21, coverage picked up for both shows, thanks to San Diego Comic-Con held July 21 to July 24. “House of the Dragon” hosted a panel in Hall H with the cast and author George R. R. Martin and released the first full length trailer. “The Rings of Power” released a new full-length trailer as well as offering exclusive footage to Hall H.

What is Hall H? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hall H is “the cavernous hall where only the biggest, splashiest and most star-studded presentations occur.”

Over the Comic-Con weekend, “House of the Dragon” received more impressions, but “The Rings of Power” edged them out in mentions, receiving 1% more Share of Voice. It was a close race.


Mentions: A single print or online article. A syndicated article will be counted every time it appears in a different outlet.

Impressions: The potential views of a single mention or a group of mentions. This includes unique daily visitor counts of websites for online mentions and circulation values for print.

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