Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HBO Appears to Troll Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” With New “Game of Thrones” Max Ad

The ad for Warner Bros. Discovery’s new Max service proclaims it as the “streamer to rule them all.”

The non-war between HBO’s House of the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power appears to have reached new lows.

Online commercials for Warner Bros. Discovery’s relaunched Max streaming service (previously HBO Max) were released today, depicting a regal Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones on the Iron Throne and the motto: “The One to Watch When You Want to Rule Them All.”

HBO & AMAZON COMPETITION

Anyone who has seen Lord of the Rings knows the term “One Ring to Rule Them All.” According to an unscientific poll of genre lovers, the commercial quickly invokes the presumption “ohhh, shots fired.” What’s clever about the ad is that Daenerys, of course, really did want to rule them all, so it makes contextual sense and gives the company some plausible deniability even if fantasy fans think Max is totally cave-trolling their Thrones prequel House of the Dragon’s head-to-head rival from last fall.

Both Amazon and Max declined to comment.

It’s also a means for entertainment sites like The Hollywood Reporter to embed their online ad in a piece about their ad even if they didn’t buy an ad, so they’re really playing 3-D chess… or accidentally stumbled upon a viral commercial, one of those.

Warner Bros. just revealed that they would be producing their own Lord of the Rings films. The films will most likely focus on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Third Age (the period of Peter Jackson’s films) rather than the Second Age of The Rings of Power, but they will nonetheless reflect the firm entering a creative realm currently dominated by Amazon.(Due to the intricate rights involved with all things Tolkien, they are also minority stockholders in Rings of Power).

Last fall, HBO’s Dragon and Amazon’s Rings of Power launched within a few weeks of each other, sparking substantial media debate about which ambitious fantasy prequel series was better and more popular. Both series are now filming season 2 in the UK and are set to return in 2024, however they are unlikely to run at the same time.

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